Verizon Communications Inc.is still looking into whether a man in company gear was a Verizon employee when he participated in the white supremacists rally in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12 that turned violent, a company spokesman said on Tuesday.
Verizon CEO Lowell C. McAdam told employees in a memo last week that “I am personally involved in getting to the bottom of this.” A woman, Heather Heyer, was killed when a pro-supremacist participant drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters. The Huffington Post, owned by Verizon, published McAdam’s memo online last week and noted that its parent company declined to share the photo or video that showed the marcher. There is no publicly available footage of someone wearing Verizon apparel at the rally, according to reports.
McAdam wrote that it was “distressing to learn that a man who marched with members of neo-Nazi groups and the KKK was wearing Verizon gear.” Verizon, one of the nation’s largest wireless carriers which also sells the FIOS television and internet services, employs about 160,000. A union official said they knew nothing of the investigation.
Verizon’s investigation is among the corporate consequences of the pro-white protest. CEOs, including Merck’s Kenneth Frazier and Campbell Soup’s Denise Morrison, abandoned presidential advisory boards after what many considered an inappropriate response to the violence at the Charlottesville rally by President Trump. Trump later disbanded those boards.
The company that manufactures Tiki brand torches also has said it was not associated with the rally. The protesters carried the torches.