A Virginia firefighter is now under investigation after allegedly making a white supremacist hand gesture on camera during a news report.
In the video, the man from the Alexandria Fire Department can be seen making a fist before doing the ‘OK’ hand gesture during a local report about firefighters.
The ‘OK’ hand sign is listed as a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League.
A Fox 5 viewer had seen the unnamed firefighter making the gesture during the live ‘Zip Trip’ segment, and contacted the network to file a complaint.
This firefighter has reportedly since been placed on administrative leave with pay while an investigation is ongoing.
Department Chief Corey Smedley has slammed the hand gesture, regardless of whether or not it had been intended as ‘a joke’.
“Just because someone may have thought things were a joke, it’s not something that’s up to our values within the department,” Smedley told Fox 5.
“So we have to first and foremost make every attempt to maintain the integrity and trust of the community, and joking is not something that’s a part of our mission,” Corey explained.
The International Association of Firefighters has released a statement on Twitter.
“IAFF Local 2141 is a diverse and inclusive workforce and union that works to promote an equitable and inclusive work environment,” the tweet reads.
As per the IAFF statement, all members are held ‘to the high personal conduct standard that the Alexandria community both expect and deserve’, and the department upholds ‘a zero-tolerance policy towards any actions that can be interpreted as racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-semitic or pro violent.
“There is no room for any public servant to act in a way that can be interpreted as an attack on any member of our community,” it continued.
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