Sheriff James Lujan

Posted by his wife to Instagram on Sunday, this photo shows Rio Arriba County Sheriff James Lujan flashing what is considered by some to be a symbol of white supremacy and by others as part of an innocent game.

A photo of Rio Arriba County Sheriff James Lujan posted to Instagram on Sunday shows him flashing what is considered by some people to be a symbol of white supremacy.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, most uses of the hand gesture Lujan flashed are innocuous. But after a 2017 hoax on the website 4chan, it was embraced by white supremacists as a symbol of their belief that white people are a superior race.

The photo was posted by Lujan’s wife, Julie Casados, and shows him standing with their two sons while flashing an upside-down “OK” gesture with his right hand. The picture has since been deleted from Casados’ Instagram account.

Lujan did not return phone calls or text messages asking about the gesture.

A 4chan user had posted a photo of the hand gesture in 2017 with outlines of the letters W and P over the fingers, which stood for the phrase “white power.” The 4chan member then encouraged other users of the website to claim in social media posts the gesture is a symbol of supremacy.

“Leftists have dug so deep down into their lunacy,” the person wrote on 4chan. “We must force to dig more, until the rest of society ain’t going anywhere near that.”

The hoax took on a life of its own, the Anti-Defamation League said on its website, and white supremacists began to make the sign in photographs.

The hand symbol was at the center of controversy earlier this month when Naval Academy midshipmen and West Point cadets flashed it on camera during the Army-Navy football game Dec. 14. A West Point investigation concluded the gesture was part of a childish game and was not a display of white supremacist beliefs.

Lujan has a past accusation of racist behavior that led to a lawsuit and settlement.

Former Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Marvin Armijo, who now works for the Taos County Sheriff’s Office, sued Lujan and the county in April 2015, alleging violations of the Whistleblower Protection Act, racial discrimination and sexual harassment. The lawsuit was settled out of court.

According to court records, Armijo had been working for the sheriff’s office under former Sheriff Tommy Rodella when Lujan became sheriff. Lujan immediately began telling Armijo he would fire him because of his association with the former sheriff, Armijo alleged in the lawsuit.

Beginning in October 2014 and throughout his employment, the lawsuit said, Lujan would make comments about Armijo’s dark skin color.

Before Lujan became sheriff, Armijo had requested days off work to go on a hunting trip, the suit said. Later, after Lujan became sheriff, Armijo asked Lujan if he could still take the time off. Lujan used a racial slur and told him African Americans do not know how to hunt, according to the suit.

When Armijo worked on Christmas Eve, Lujan again used a racial slur, saying only African Americans worked on that day, the suit alleged.

Armijo also accused Lujan of sexual harassment, alleging Lujan said Armijo had called Rodella “daddy” and said he performed sexual acts on him to maintain his job. The sheriff also told Armijo he was expected to perform the same sex acts on him, the suit alleged.

(13) comments

HRH Prince Michael Jauregui

Unquestionably, Lujan is an insult to all self-respecting Latino-Americans.

Sadly, he's exposed a cancer within the Latino culture, that undoubtedly has

existed for centuries: A lighter-complexion equals a superior human-being.

Thus Today, many lighter-toned Latinos have not only incorporated White Privilege

into their attitudes, not unlike Lujan, they actually practice Racism against other Latinos. Call it, ironically, the Lujan-Grisham Syndrome.

Truly, it is exactly these types of "Latino-Americans" who have assisted in

the perpetuation of a 4-the Class citizenry for all Latino-Americans.

So, to both Lujan and Lujan-Grisham, I strongly advise:

Hasta la vista, and vaya con queso.

Mike Johnson

Sorry snowflakes, it just means "OK".

kyle renfro


Bobby Peru

That office is the most unprofessional ever. Officers having sex in the DA’s office. No one cares or will do anything about the conduct.

Khal Spencer

Another manufactured crisis promoted by virtue signalers.

Susanne Freeborn

“Armijo also accused Lujan of sexual harassment, alleging Lujan said Armijo had called Rodella “daddy” and said he performed sexual acts on him to maintain his job. The sheriff also told Armijo he was expected to perform the same sex acts on him, the suit alleged.“.

There was a settlement. That means they paid & facts such as these indicate there was truth in at least some of the allegations. It seems likely that he means something with that signal, given his history of saying nasty & inappropriate things to subordinates. Calling people who report such behavior “virtue signalers” makes you sound like virtue is an absent quality in your character.

Khal Spencer

For the paper to headline an article about a questionable hand signal is silly. If there are grounds to remove or prosecute the sheriff for cause that is worth reading. If the settlement in question was sealed that takes some information off the table. I doubt the people of Rio Arriba County are going to vote on the basis of an upside down "OK" sign. As the TV ad once said, "where's the beef?"

James Ramirez

Haha! Watch all the white people cry out about a non-white being “racist.” Talk about a stretch. Typical New Mexican, trying to remove people actually from here and support carpetbaggers with strong liberal agendas (see Milan S.)

Susanne Freeborn

It isn’t a requirement that a racist be white.

Moses Townsend

Nortenos with Spanish heritage are pretty white, if you ask me. Spanish descent, that’s Europe.

Regardless, people of all skin colors are racist. You see it all over the world.

John Wilson

This is very disturbing. I have to assume this fellow is absolutely clueless about the world in which he holds great responsibility or he is a white supremacist. Either way it's very bad.

Ed Li

Sack this racist SOB!

Arnold Mayberg

This guy should be shown the door.

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