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.

Just Posted

Langley developer’s appeal of extradition denied – faces fraud charge

The Court of Appeal has denied Mark Chandler’s attempt to avoid extradition to California.

VIDEO: Mark Warawa shows off Aldergrove’s Telephone Museum

The Langley–Aldergrove MP visited the 100-year-old museum and talked phones with AGHS president.

District struggles to find enough specialty teachers for Langley schools

Resource teachers and ELL teachers are in high demand across B.C., and in Langley

Aldergrove father fights for his life after flu turns into paralyzing condition

Reisig has lost all motor skills with the exception of slight head, shoulder and face movements.

VIDEO: Trinity Western University takes national volleyball championship

Third national title in four years for Langley-based university team

Defiant vigil starts healing in New Zealand after massacre

Police say the gunman in the shooting that killed 50 acted alone

VIDEO: Race and sport examined at new We Are Hockey exhibit in Abbotsford

UFV SASI hosting exhibit looking at hockey history and race

Nearly 40% of British Columbians not taking their medications correctly: poll

Introduction of legal cannabis could cause more issues for drug interactions

Mining company fined $70,000 after two workers killed in B.C. truck crash

Broda Construction pleaded guilty to failing to provide safe workplace at Cranbrook rock quarry

B.C. argues it cannot stop Trans Mountain, but it can protect environment

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says only Ottawa has the authority to decide what goes in trans-boundary pipelines

B.C. poverty plan combines existing spending, housing programs

Target is to lift 140,000 people out of poverty from 2016 level

Avalanche warning issued for all B.C. mountains

Warm weather to increase avalanche risk: Avalanche Canada

Temperature records dating back to 1947 broken in B.C.

The Squamish airport recorded the hottest temperature in the province (and Canada) on Sunday: 21.3 C

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick retires in wake of SNC-Lavalin case

Jody Wilson-Raybould accused Wernick of pressuring her to head off criminal charges for the firm

Most Read