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6 Jul, 2020 11:02

White supremacy, or harmless gesture? Oregon police say cop accused of racist hand signal was simply checking protester was OK

White supremacy, or harmless gesture? Oregon police say cop accused of racist hand signal was simply checking protester was OK

An Oregon trooper was accused of dog whistling a counter-protester at a Black Lives Matter event in Salem, but state police said it was just an innocent OK gesture. 4Chan pranksters who started the hand sign confusion may rejoice.

The Oregon State Police (OSP) said their investigation into a viral video allegedly showing a white power gesture shown by an officer to an opponent of BLM demonstrators has revealed no wrongdoing.

Footage from the anti-racism protest in Salem on Saturday shows cops on the scene tasked with separating BLM demonstrators from groups of counter-protesters. The video shows one of the officers approaching a counter-protester and making an ‘OK’ sign. The man responded by patting the trooper on the shoulder.

Many people online saw the gesture as problematic, due to claims that it stands for “white power.” That assumption originated as a hoax launched by anonymous users of the 4Chan website in a bid to convince left-wing activists that the people who use it are secretly racist.

Some say that genuine white supremacists have now adopted the seemingly innocuous gesture, however, and actually use it to recognize each other. The Anti-Defamation League even added it to its list of hateful symbols last year. Just this week Activision, the publisher of the ‘Call of Duty’ video game series, has removed the OK sign from its latest multiplayer-focused installments.

Also on rt.com Fans accuse ‘Call of Duty’ of removing ‘OKAY’ hand gesture deemed racist by woke mobs

The OSP said it has probed the allegations against its trooper and found them to be false. The police force released footage from several body cameras showing the exact moment that started the controversy.

The video shows that, seconds earlier, the counter-protester had been pushed to the ground by one of the BLM protesters. The officer then approached the man and asked “You OK?” while making the gesture.

“Best available evidence indicates the trooper was simply checking on the man's status and used the universal signal to signify this inquiry,” the OSP said.

In this case, white supremacy seems to be in the eye of the beholder, however, as the released tapes did little to convince BLM supporters on social media that the cops were not secretly part of the other team.

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