Several corrections officers in West Virginia have been suspended after a photo surfaced of the group giving the Nazi salute.
The officers, whose faces are blurred in the photo, were part of the Basic Training Class #18 at the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation, which took place from October to November, authorities said.
In the photo, there is text that reads “Hail Byrd!” allegedly in reference to someone involved in the training, several outlets reported. The offensive image was first published by WCHS-TV.
Many expressed outrage at the photo, including Republican Gov. Jim Justice, who told the Washington Post he “ordered the termination of the officers in the photo."
"This will not be tolerated on my watch, within the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation, or within any agency of state government," Justice said in a statement.
Jeff S. Sandy, the cabinet secretary for the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, said the picture “betrays professionalism.”
"It is distasteful, hurtful, disturbing, highly insensitive, and completely inappropriate," he wrote in a letter. "It undermines the high standards that have been set for our Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation…”
Sandy’s office also said they are still investigating the incident, and have asked that copies of the photos be taken out of circulation.