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Charlottetown police apologize after Thin Blue Line patch appears in Pride picture

CHARLOTTETOWN — The Charlottetown Police Services says it's strengthening its policy on uniforms after a photo published online Wednesday in support of the PEI Pride Festival showed an officer wearing a symbol that has been linked to white supremacy.
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The police force in Charlottetown has apologized after a photo that was meant to show support for the P.E.I. Pride Festival contained what it has called an offensive symbol. The logo of the Charlottetown Police Services is shown in this undated file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO

CHARLOTTETOWN — The Charlottetown Police Services says it's strengthening its policy on uniforms after a photo published online Wednesday in support of the PEI Pride Festival showed an officer wearing a symbol that has been linked to white supremacy.

The force apologized on social media Wednesday and again on Thursday, saying the officer had no "ill intent" in wearing the Thin Blue Line badge.

"It is clear that the history and controversy surrounding this symbol, specifically its racist and extremist origins, is not in line with the protective and community-based services (Charlottetown Police Services) aims to provide," the tweet said.

The patch in the photo for the LGBTQ festival displayed the Thin Blue Line symbol — a blue line across the Maple Leaf — which is considered a sign of police solidarity but has also been criticized as a symbol of white supremacy. Officers across the country have been criticized for wearing the patches, while police in Calgary earlier this year were instructed to remove the symbols from their uniforms.

Last month, the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo said it was ending a partnership with a group providing tickets to veterans following complaints that the group was using the Thin Blue Line image.

Charlottetown police said the officer in the photo was wearing the symbol to support those who had been injured or killed in the line of duty. The officer has since removed the patch from his uniform, the force said.

"Management is taking immediate action to strengthen our uniform policy in order to be inclusive in our actions and attire," the force tweeted Thursday, adding, "We promise to continue to educate ourselves and do better so we can remain focused on providing high quality policing services that residents expect."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 21, 2022. 

The Canadian Press

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