Protesters march through in Quebec City on Saturday, June 9, 2018, as the G7 summit closes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Quebec City police hit with ethics complaint for using Chuck Norris photo

The photo was used on the side of a police van during G7 summit protests last summer

A photo of gun-toting movie star Chuck Norris displayed on a Quebec City police van during G7 summit protests last summer has prompted an ethics complaint from a university professor.

Francis Dupuis-Deri, a Universite du Quebec a Montreal political science professor who took part in the protests, said in an interview Thursday that police were seeking to intimidate and threaten protesters with the violent image.

Dupuis-Deri’s complaint, filed Wednesday with Quebec’s police ethics board, includes video of a June 8 protest in which the photo of Norris with a gun in each hand is seen posted to the door of a police van used to transport an arrested protester. Dupuis-Deri said he identified the nine officers named in the complaint by their badge numbers.

“I consider that to drive around in a van, with a photo of Chuck Norris who is pointing guns towards the public, is highly problematic,” he said, adding that the action undermined public trust in the police.

READ MORE: Masked activists in Quebec City begin protests against G7 leaders’ summit

Images of the action film star are widely shared online. The Norris memes typically include absurd exaggerations about the actor’s strength and ingenuity. ”Death once had a near-Chuck Norris experience,” reads one.

The image used by Quebec City police did not include any text. Dupuis-Deri says the photo is from a 1985 movie starring Norris, “Invasion USA,” in which the actor saves the United States from communist guerrillas. He accuses the police of drawing a parallel between protesters and the communists.

“It’s as if we, the protesters, we’re an invasion and we are invading Quebec,” he said, “and the police considered themselves heroes or superheroes who are going to neutralize or eliminate us.”

Protesters from across the province converged on Quebec City for the June 8-9 summit held at a hotel in the nearby Charlevoix region. The annual meeting brings together the heads of state of Canada, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Germany, the United States and Japan.

“For me, the G7 summit is not legitimate,” Dupuis-Deri said. “It’s a meeting of the leaders of seven of the strongest countries and the most dangerous, that launch the most destructive wars. And so I think it’s legitimate to protest against these summits.”

Representatives from the Quebec City police and the mayor’s office declined comment, citing the ethics investigation.

Dupuis-Deri, who researches social movements and police profiling, said he waited until now to file the complaint because he wanted to do it in person in Quebec City, and this week was his first opportunity. He said the timing of his complaint is fortuitous, because it comes on the eve of the trial for two people arrested during the June 8 protest.

Seven people in total were charged with illegal assembly in connection with the demonstration. Arij Riahi, lawyer for one of the defendants, said all seven were detained for four days following their arrests.

“They were detained until the G7 was finished,” she said. “That raises questions about rights to peaceful assembly, rights to demonstrate, freedom of expression.”

Riahi said the Crown announced Wednesday it was dropping charges against four of the seven people arrested. Another had his charges dropped earlier.

Two people arrested — both women — remain charged with illegal assembly and are scheduled to face trial in municipal court next Monday. One of the women is also charged with carrying pepper spray.

READ MORE: Quebec Premier Legault leaves Trudeau meeting empty-handed but hopeful

The next step for Dupuis-Deri’s complaint is for the ethics board to conduct a preliminary examination to determine whether to refer the matter to conciliation, to order an investigation or to close the file.

Giuseppe Valiante, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Stolen Chevy used in Chilliwack crime spree over the weekend

RCMP in Chilliwack asking the public to keep an eye out for the red truck used in thefts

Senior shelter cat, Hercules, needs your vote to help Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven

The 12-year-old cat is one of 12 ‘underdog’ finalists in the North American contest which ends today

Chilliwack youth coach sexual touching decision scheduled for Monday

BC Supreme Court justice scheduled to rule on Codie Anderson case Feb. 24

Chilliwack wades into backyard chickens in urban areas

Permit came with several conditions and can be reconsidered by council

Big Bar Landslide saw long awaited blasting this week

Pressure has been on senior governments working with First Nations to remove blockage for months

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Two scout leaders missing near Sooke after swollen creek traps troop

Third leader and scouts located, while search continues for two leaders who’d gone for help

Snowfall warning in effect for the Coquihalla Highway

An unstable airmass is producing heavy flurries over parts of the southern highway passes

B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

Fraser Health warns some schools of possible COVID-19 exposure

A sixth COVID-19 patient is a woman in her 30s in the Fraser Health region who recently returned from Iran

Harvey Weinstein found guilty of sex crimes in landmark #MeToo trial

The cases against the Hollywood mogul started the #MeToo movement

Initial police report of 2015 accident was ‘inaccurate’ Langley RCMP say

Online statement issued to clarify that victim was not in the middle of the road

CRA puts focus on paper returns as tax-filing season opens

The federal tax collector expects to handle about two million paper returns this calendar year out of roughly 26 million filings

Most Read