Washington — A photo of fire department recruits possibly using a racist hand gesture is being investigated by District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services. CBS Washington, D.C. affiliate WUSA-TV reports that the agency said it was made aware of the photo Wednesday.
The photo surfaced on Facebook and is spreading on social media platforms, WUSA says.
It shows some recruits in a group picture flashing a, but the gesture is similar to the "OK" hand sign.
WUSA explains the gesture in the photo might be seen as "WP," for "white power," since extending three fingers is a possible "W" and the "circle" coming off an arm is a possible "P" — "WP."
The photo shows members of a recruits class that graduated in April 2019 and is believed to have been taken in March 2019, according to DC Fire and EMS.
The agency told WUSA its probe could include interviews of everyone in the picture.
The investigation comes about a month after military officials said hand gestures flashed by West Point cadets and Naval Academy midshipmen during the televised Army-Navy football game weren't racist signals. Officials said the students were participating in a "circle game" in which someone flashes an upside-down OK sign below the waist and punches anyone who looks at it.