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Member of U.S. Coast Guard hurricane response team flashed white power hand sign during live news broadcast

September 22, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Member of U.S. Coast Guard hurricane response team flashed white power hand sign during live news broadcast

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Member of U.S. Coast Guard hurricane response team flashed white power hand sign during a live news broadcast

The U.S. Coast Guard revealed that a member of its hurricane response team has been terminated from his unit after he seemed to make a white power hand signal during a live broadcast this weekend.

According to the New York Post, the hand signal was made on MSNBC’s Live with Ali Velshi while Captain John Reed was providing an update on Tropical Storm Florence and their efforts in Charleston, South Carolina.

As Reed was interviewed by Velshi, a Coast Guard member at a table behind the captain is seen in the footage giving the “OK” signal, a once-innocuous hand signal that is associated with the alt-right.

The Coast Guard tweeted a statement Friday night indicating they were informed of the “offensive” signal and the Coast Guard member, who has not been identified, was removed from his duties on the response team.

U.S. Coast Guard Lieutenant J.B. Zorn noted that the incident is being investigated.

“We’re not going to let one person detract from the work the Coast Guard is doing,” Zorn said to NBC News.

Numerous Twitter users posted that the Coast Guard member needs to be terminated completely.

“‘Removed from response?’ I hope this is the beginning of serious disciplinary action and termination!” Dawn Able tweeted.

Another user said: “Fire him or you are also complicit.”

Other people, however, defended the Coast Guard member contending that he was not making the white power gesture.

“You have the mental capacity of a 2-year-old if you think that’s a white power sign. It was made up to prove how idiotic Liberals are and as usual, every one of you fell for it. Hopefully, the guy sues the hell out of the Coast Guard,’ Darren Corbett said.

It’s not clear how the OK sign – with one’s index and thumb in a circle with the other fingers up – became connected to the white power movement.

The Outline proposes that it could be linked to an alt-right meme of the cartoon Pepe the Frog making the gesture. White supremacists adopted the cartoon frog.

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