A New York police officer flashed a hand symbol which has been linked to white supremacy during a protest over the death of George Floyd.
NYPD officer (on right of screen) caught flashing OK white power symbol during George Floyd protests.
Claims that a New York police officer flashed a hand symbol which has been linked to white supremacy during a protest over the death of George Floyd is being investigated by the attorney general.
A video of the protest taking place at New York City’s Union Square over the weekend showed an on-duty officer appearing to flash an “OK” hand gesture and another officer smiling after noticing.
The footage was filmed while hundreds protested the death of Floyd, a Black man who died after a Minneapolis Police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes while the 46-year-old cried out “I can’t breathe.”
The “OK” hand gesture has been tied to white supremacy following what began as a hoax troll campaign by the controversial message board site 4chan.
The aim was to make people and the media believe the innocuous gesture was actually a coded message to show support for white supremacy as the fingers spell out the letters WP, or white power.
While the gesture continues to be used as a trolling tactic, it has since been co-opted by those actually expressing support for far-right ideology.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) included the “OK” hand gesture in its database of hate symbols following a number of high-profile examples of people using it.
Brenton Tarrant, the Australian man accused of killing 51 people in the Christchurch, New Zealand, mosque attacks, smiled and flashed an “OK” hand gesture during his first court appearance in 2019.
The video of the officer appearing to make the hand gesture has been viewed nearly eight million times since it was posted on social media by Twitter user @Kikimurphy_.
High-profile names such as actresses Debra Messing and Wanda Sykes were among those to call for the officer in question to be fired. Former Republican strategist Steve Schmidt tweeted: “This is clear and compelling. Officer # 1 throws the White Power sign. Officer # 2 sees it, acknowledges it and laughs about it. Who are these officers? They should be dismissed and this should be [put] to the Mayor and Commissioner.”
In response to the clip, New York Attorney General Letitia James urged: “Please report this and send the video to my office.”
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EDITOR’S NOTE: This incident is an example of one of the biggest stories that has been ignored by corporate media: the infiltration of police departments, and other law enforcement agencies, by members of various white supremacist groups. The FBI, in a 2006 intelligence assessment, updated in 2015, addressed this serious issue.
The FBI calls these white supremacist police officers “Ghost Skins.”
The FBI raised the alarm about these “Ghost Skin” police officers saying: “white supremacist groups have historically engaged in strategic efforts to infiltrate and recruit from law enforcement communities.” It also said: “The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) is notable among White supremacist groups for historically having found support in many communities, which often translated into ties to local law enforcement.” The FBI also warned that these racist “Ghost Skin” police “avoid overt displays of their beliefs to blend into society and covertly advance white supremacist causes.”