JASPER, Ala. -- An Alabama mayor said 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 told news outlets that the four Jasper officers 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 said some have claimed the gesture is meant to express "white power."
Others, however, have reportedly said the gesture is used in a popular kids game called the "circle game." The idea is to trick another person into looking at the circle gesture -- "Going around and hitting everybody when you see it," said a man in downtown Jasper after seeing the photo, WBMA reported.
The mayor said he arranged the photo in question to recognize the narcotics team following a drug bust. He said he hasn't asked the officers what they meant by the gesture, but says they showed "poor judgment."