Four members of the Jasper, Alabama police force have been suspended after they were accused of making a “white power” hand gesture.
Jasper Mayor David O’Mary said the four officers will be suspended and lose one week of pay for a photo that shows them making the “OK” hand symbol. The photo was published in the Jasper Daily Mountain Eagle on July 12 and was followed with allegations that the officers were indicating white power or white nationalism with the hand gestures.
THOUGHTS? Alabama police officers suspended for supposedly racist “white power” hand gesture – but the officers are claiming it’s the “circle game” in which you trick someone into looking at the circle gesture displayed below their waist. https://t.co/jZJp2xkUJR pic.twitter.com/fLhvgflo05
— FoxNashville (@FOXNashville) July 16, 2018
Some have noted that the officers in the photo are making the “OK” sign facing downward, which is more commonly associated with a game called the “circle game.” In the circle game, whoever gets caught looking at the hand sign gets punched.
“It’s a kid game. Going around and hitting everybody when you see it,” a Jasper man told Fox 17.
O’Mary said he did not ask the officers what they meant when they made the gestures, but asserted that they demonstrated “poor judgment.”
“That’s contradictory to how we run our city. That’s not our mindset,” the mayor said. “That’s not the way we do things and they used poor judgement.”