Photo of Black Female Cadets Raising Fists Prompts West Point Investigation

By Sameer Rao May 05, 2016

Officials at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York (colloquially known as "West Point") confirmed an investigation into a widely circulated photo featuring 16 uniformed Black female cadets raising their fists.

Army Times reported on the story today (May 5) after receiving the photo "from several readers who are concerned the women violated Department of Defense Directive 1344.10, Political Activities by Members of the Armed Forces." That directive outlines several discouraged or prohibited activities for service members, including "partisan political activity." Army Times further stated that cadets’ raised fists suggest some allegiance with Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter is a chapter-based nonpartisan organization noted for its refusal to endorse any presidential candidate in the 2016 election 

"We can confirm that the cadets in this photo are members of the U.S. Military Academy’s Class of 2016," stated West Point’s director of public affairs Lt. Col. Christopher Kasker in a statement e-mailed to Army Times.