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Thin Blue Line at the SPVM: the Black League says no

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The president of the Quebec Black League, Max Stanley Bazin (center), mentions that the “Thin Blue Line” symbol has no place on police uniforms in Quebec. We see him here at a press conference, in 2019, reacting to a damning report on racial profiling at the Montreal police. (Archive photo)

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The Quebec Black League affirms that the Montreal police cannot under any circumstances, legitimately display or use the Thin Blue Line (TBL) crest, a symbol the organization associates with “racism, xenophobia and to hatred.”

The profession of police officer is public. Being a police officer means being at the service of the population, of all populations, says the president of the Black League, Max Stanley Bazin, using the leitmotif used in all communications from the current director of the Police Department of the City of Montreal ( SPVM), Fady Dagher.

M. Bazin wanted to react to our report which mentioned that the Montreal police have in hand the conclusions of an internal ethics committee on the Thin Blue Line since June 2022, but that no director since that time has made a decision on the legitimacy of wearing the symbol for police officers in the metropolis.

Being a police officer is a privilege, not a right. If some police officers do not feel capable of serving the entire population by not displaying symbols associated with racism and xenophobia, they should simply leave the police force and do something else, says the president of the Negro League.

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The “Thin Blue” crest Line” can have more than one meaning. (Archive photo)

The Thin Blue Line patch, which features a black and gray Canadian flag crossed by a blue line, can have several meanings. For some members of the police, wearing the badge is a tribute to police officers who died in service, but this badge can, for other people, have a racist connotation, since the symbol has also been appropriated by police groups. 'extreme right.

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This combination of the symbol Thin Blue Lineto racism is shared by Frédéric Boisrond, who was special advisor to the senior management of the SPVM from 2020 to 2022.

Mr. Boisrond's mandate was to make organizational changes to the Montreal police, following the unveiling by former director Sylvain Caron of a devastating report on racial profiling.

The Thin Blue Line symbol is forever contaminated. It was recovered by the Ku Klux Klan and white supremacist groups during the Unite The Right demonstration in Charlottesville in August 2017. It's very serious, analyzes Frédéric Boisrond.

The sociologist recalls that several strong symbols have been perverted in modern history. He gives the example of the swastika recovered by the Nazi regime during the Second World War, whose origin was religious in Southeast Asia.

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At the end of 2023, I personally indicated to director Fady Dagher that no matter how he twisted the situation to find a compromise, there was no path to accept the symbol Thin Blue Line by cultural communities.

A quote from Frédéric Boisrond, sociologist and external advisor to the management of the SPVMOpen in full screen mode

Frédéric Boisrond is a trained sociologist who has advised three SPVM departments since 2020 on issues of racial profiling and organizational changes. (Archive photo)

You cannot be a police officer and promote hatred, xenophobia and racism in any form whatsoever. The fundamental problem with certain police officers is that they forget that their duty is to serve and not to impose their vision, says Max Stanley Bazin.

Frédéric Boisrond wants a decision to be made in the short term at the Montreal police.

Police officers have every right to express solidarity with their colleagues. But I think they need to find another symbol to do it, says Mr. Boisrond, who is still consulted on occasion by the SPVM.

Recall that opposition parties in the National Assembly also asked the Minister of Public Security of Quebec, François Bonnardel, to intervene to put an end to this impasse.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116