The Coast Guard announced Friday night it had removed a member from Hurricane Florence repsonse duty after he was seen making the ‘OK’ symbol with his right hand in the background of an MSNBC live report earlier Friday afternoon.
The unidentified Coast Guardsman’s motive has not been reported. He was seated at a work station in Charleston, South Carolina, directly behind Capt. John Reed, who was giving a live update to MSNBC. The Coast Guardsman was seen turning his head to look over at the camera, then turning his back to his work but raising his right hand to his ear and quickly making the ‘OK’ sign.
The Coast Guard was quick to throw him overboard before any reported investigation into his motive, “We are aware of the offensive video on twitter – the Coast Guard has identified the member and removed him from the response. His actions do not reflect those of the United States Coast Guard”
We are aware of the offensive video on twitter – the Coast Guard has identified the member and removed him from the response. His actions do not reflect those of the United States Coast Guard.
— U.S. Coast Guard (@USCG) September 15, 2018
A spokesman told NBC News: The man has since been removed from the Florence response operations and the incident is under investigation, said Coast Guard Lt. J.B. Zorn. “Whatever that symbol means, it doesn’t reflect the Coast Guard and our core values,” Zorn said. “It won’t be tolerated.…We’re not going to let one person detract from the good work the Coast Guard is doing in the region,” Zorn said. “We’re going to stay focused.”
US Coast Guard on hand gesture seen used by a support staff member (bottom left) during an interview on @MSNBC this afternoon:
"The Coast Guard has identified the member and removed him from the response. His actions do not reflect those of the United States Coast Guard." pic.twitter.com/jjwZmCFFBI
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) September 15, 2018
Many in the media saw the ‘OK’ symbol as a ‘White Power Salute’, even though it’s origin as a current political symbol was a 4chan prank gone viral.
A member of a U.S. Coast Guard team responding to Tropical Storm Florence in South Carolina appeared to flash a white power hand gesture in the background as a captain was being interviewed by @MSNBC https://t.co/vD2sQ39cuG
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 15, 2018
Coast Guard member who flashed white power signal pulled from storm duty https://t.co/c6to7cVHYB pic.twitter.com/8US2yN4Aal
— NBCBLK (@NBCBLK) September 15, 2018
Coast Guard official accused of making "white power" hand sign during live Florence broadcast https://t.co/Q8YWBfxDKh pic.twitter.com/gwmUcIgrea
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) September 15, 2018
The Coast Guard removed a member from hurricane duty after he flashed a white power symbol on TV https://t.co/4y5UCi3qNO pic.twitter.com/0KoJFd02jp
— Mic (@mic) September 15, 2018
Screen images of the Coast Guardsman:
Our Coast Guard @USCG has been compromised.#WhitePower #MAGA-Hoax pic.twitter.com/7piGZRJBhK
— Scott SFBA.social (@bullriders1) September 15, 2018