Jangir Uses ‘Offensive’ Hand Gesture At Competency Hearing

NEBRASKA CITY – Prosecutors are concerned over the apparent use of an offensive hand gesture by an Otoe County murder suspect on Friday.

Brindar Jangir appeared on monitor at a court hearing where his attorney asked for a mental competency examination.

Family members of both Jangir and the victims, Randal and Annette Grimes of Douglas, attended the hearing. Some told prosecutors they were offended by the perceived hand gesture.

Extending the middle finger is generally considered offensive in the United States.

According to the Soldier’s Handbook to Iraq, however, hand gestures may have different meanings in other cultures, including the Middle East.

The “thumbs up” is considered obscene by older, more traditional Arabs. It could be taken to have a similar meaning as the middle finger does in Western cultures.

Among hand gestures noted in the handbook, placing the right hand or forefinger on the tip of the nose, right lower eyelid, top of the head, mustache or beard means “it’s my responsibility,” or “I’ll gladly do it for you.”

Stroking the mustache in connection with an oath or a promise indicates sincerity.

Jangir, 36, is reported to have a Kurdish background, but moved to the United States when he was 10 years old.