An investigation is underway
A uniformed naval petty officer was caught on video screaming expletives about President Donald Trump at a group of flag-waving rallygoers Sunday — and officials told the Navy Times the incident sparked an investigation by her California command.
What are the details?
The sailor in question — identified by officials as Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Launch/Recovery) 2nd Class Sarah J. Dudrey — is seen exiting a car and moving through the gathering at the Ventura County Government Center and raising her middle fingers at them, the paper said, adding that it’s unclear what sparked the confrontation.
“F*** Trump!” Dudrey yells. “F*** you!”
The description of the Facebook video reads that “a large group of people were having a pro-America rally and had lined the sidewalks with happiness and flags. Dudrey pulled up in a BORROWED CAR, parked illegally on a busy main street, blocking an entire lane, got out…”
The members of the crowd shouted right back at Dudrey.
“Shame on you!” one person yells.
“Take the flag off your shoulder!” another demonstrator shouts.
At one point Dudrey, 24, gets in the face of a older woman who’s holding a red, white, and blue umbrella in one hand and a sign in the other that reads, in part, “no more house arrest.”
“You should be ashamed!” a protester hollers at Dudrey.
“Learn how to act in a f***ing uniform, you piece of s**t!” another demonstrator loudly suggests.
“Who’s your commanding officer?” another person asks.
Soon Dudrey gets back in the vehicle, and the incident appears to come to an end.
Here’s the clip. Content warning: Language:
Dudrey is assigned to Naval Base Ventura County, about 15 miles from the site of the confrontation, the Times said.
Her command became aware of the video Sunday and started looking into it Monday, the paper said, citing spokeswoman Melinda Larson.
“The Navy is a proponent of free speech, and active-duty members are free to participate in protests during their off-duty time,” Larson told the Times in an email. “However, Navy members are not authorized to wear military uniforms while engaging in protests and voicing personal opinions.”
It was not clear Tuesday what disciplinary action Dudrey may face, the paper said.
“After a thorough inquiry into the matter, the Commanding Officer will make a determination on what actions are warranted,” Larson added to the Times.
Dudrey could not be reached for comment Tuesday, the paper said, adding that Larson said she was not able to contact the petty officer on behalf of the Times.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper warned troops in a February memo to avoid political statements and supporting certain candidates while representing the military, the paper said.
“As citizens, we exercise our right to vote and participate in government,” Esper wrote, according to the Times. “However, as public servants who have taken an oath to defend these principles, we uphold DoD’s longstanding tradition of remaining apolitical as we carry out our official responsibilities.”
Author: Dave Urbanski