NSW Police has denied that an officer photographed in Sydney’s CBD last night was doing a “white power” gesture.
NSW Police has denied that an officer photographed in Sydney's CBD last night was doing a "white power" gesture.
The gesture is commonly known as a sign for "okay", but it has been co-opted by white supremacists as a sign for their movement.
A NSW Police Force spokesperson said the officer "did not intentionally make a gesture that could be deemed offensive".
"Further, the officer indicated he was responding to a group of women about the night being 'okay' and used a hand symbol as he was wearing a face mask," the spokesperson said.
"He did not know the gesture had any other meaning.
"The NSW Police Force works closely to foster a strong and cohesive partnership with Aboriginal communities and other groups and does not appreciate irresponsible inflammatory commentary in this space."
A photo of the officer has been circulating on Twitter, with the photographer accusing him of "throwing white power to the camera".
Read more: Big Bash fan apologises for 'white power salute' during match
The photo was taken by Enoch Mailangi, an indigenous and Polynesian screenwriter.
The policeman's identity is obscured by a face mask.
The photo was taken as a group of officers were crossing Pitt Street, in the Sydney CBD.
Police had a heavy presence in the city overnight, surrounding a statue of Captain James Cook amid fears it could be vandalised.https://twitter.com/enochmailangi/status/1271464519055732737
According to the American-based Anti-Defamation League's website, the 'OK gesture' has been: "appropriated as a symbol meaning 'white power'.
"Used by many on the right - not just extremists - for the purpose of trolling liberals, the symbol eventually came to be used by actual white supremacists as well."
However the group also warned that: "caution must be used in evaluating instances of this symbol's use".
Around 300 protesters showed up to Friday night's Black Lives Matter rally in the Sydney CBD, and were out-numbered two-to-one by a strong police presence.
The rally moved from Town Hall to Hyde Park after being ordered to move-on by police.A 24-year-old woman was fined $1000 for failing to obey police direction.
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/nsw-police-white-power-gesture-sydney-cbd-okay-hand-black-lives-matter/df51f72d-e024-4169-b5d2-aa280c802f97