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

VIDEO: North Island Bantam Eagles tie Dawson Creek Canucks in front of massive hometown crowd in Port Hardy

The Tier 3 Bantam Championships continued in style last night at the Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena.

Port Alice’s Scotiabank branch closing for good next month

Port Alice is going through a transition to a more diversified economy that includes tourism.

VIDEO: North Island Bantam Eagles blast Kelowna Rockets in first game of the Championships in Port Hardy

The Eagles are back in action at 7:30 p.m. tonight against the Dawson Creek KFC Canucks.

Mowi Canada West releases statement on Nanaimo teenager’s workplace death

“Our thoughts are with the family at this time, all of us at Mowi are devastated by this tragedy.”

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

No injuries, pollution in Vancouver Harbour ship collision: Transport Canada

Transportation Safety Board says it has deployed a team of investigators look into the incident

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

Watchdog called after man who yelled racial slurs at B.C. vigil hurt during arrest

BC RCMP say man was ‘acting suspiciously’ at prayer vigil for victims of New Zealand mosque shootings

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh steps into the House of Commons, making history

Burnaby South MP becomes first visible minority to lead a federal party in the House of Commons

Simard guilty in Vancouver Island double murder

Convicted of two counts of second-degree murder in 2016 killing of Courtenay couple

Most Read