Brazilian authorities will investigate video of crowd doing apparent Nazi salute
The Associated Press
Posted: 05/12/2014 06:12:08 PM PDT
Updated: 05/12/2014 06:19:05 PM PDT
(AP) WASHINGTON — The U.S. government has launched a criminal investigation into an Internet video that shows members of a Brazilian soccer crowd apparently performing a Nazi salute. Officials say the video posted to the Internet in May showed people wearing masks, helmets or other costumes.
The video, which originated in Brazil, shows people on the sidelines of a crowd performing a Nazi salute, as well as others in the audience holding their hands in the air in a symbolic salute reminiscent of Nazi Germany’s salute.
The video’s release drew swift condemnation from the United States and elsewhere. The Anti-Defamation League branded it a “fascist act that encourages violence,” while the White House described it as a “video from Brazil.”
The U.S. Justice Department said Monday that it was investigating the video to determine whether it violated U.S. laws forbidding discrimination based on ethnicity. The investigation is not considered criminal but will be closely watched for signs that it could lead to criminal charges against the people in the video or any other individuals responsible for the performance.
The Justice Department said the video wasn’t sent through the U.S. mail. Agents in the New York area were investigating, officials said.
At the time the video began circulating on the Internet, President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva said he was “very disgusted” by the footage and called on Brazil’s soccer federation to make a statement about the incident.
The federation did not comment on the video, but FIFA spokesman Thierry Weil said it does not condone any kind of discrimination. Officials in soccer countries said they were unaware of the video being shared on social media.
Brazilian soccer team Flamengo said the soccer federation has been