David O’Mary, Jasper Mayor announces officer suspensions for “white power” photo

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This July 12, 2018 photo shows members of the Jasper, Alabama Police Department with Mayor David O’Mary, second from right and Police Chief J.C. Poe, in front of a house in Frisco, Ala., that was the scene of a drug bust. Jasper Mayor David O’Mary tells news outlets that four Jasper officers have been suspended and will lose a week’s pay following the publication of a photograph in the Jasper Daily Mountain Eagle on July 12. O’Mary is pictured in that photo alongside several officers, four of whom are making an upside-down “OK” sign with their fingers. He says some have claimed the gesture is meant to express “white power.” (Ed Howell/Daily Mountain Eagle via AP)

An Alabama mayor says four members of his city’s police force have been suspended for making a hand gesture that some say is a hate symbol.

Jasper Mayor David O’Mary tells news outlets the four Jasper officers have been suspended and will lose a week’s pay following the publication of a photograph in the Jasper Daily Mountain Eagle on July 12. O’Mary is pictured in that photo alongside several officers, four of whom are making an upside-down “OK” sign with their fingers. He says some have claimed the gesture is meant to express “white power.”

The mayor says he arranged that photo to recognize the narcotics team following a drug bust. He says he hasn’t asked the officers what they meant by the gesture, but says they showed “poor judgment.”

Republished with the permission of the Associated Press.