While a fair amount of police officers have shown solidarity with the civil rights protests that swept the nation in response to the unlawful death of George Floyd, the majority has stayed put on the side of ‘the law,’ and some have even doubled down on the public image of a ruthless enforcer.
Faced with increasing pressure from the citizens they’re supposed to serve, more and more cops are joining the “Blue Lives Matter” counter-movement. As many of them have adopted the logo from Marvel antihero The Punisher to signify their allegiance, however, comic book writers are now urging Disney to pursue legal action against those who appropriated their logo without permission.
From a PR perspective – as well as a basic moral one – the decision of police officers to identify with The Punisher was poorly made. Also known as Frank Castle, The Punisher is a vigilante who operates outside of the law, and many of his stories, including a notorious one in which he kills the entire Marvel Universe, feature him using blind and excessive force.
Gerry Conway, co-creator of The Punisher, has called officers who wear his character’s logo “a disgrace,” and it’s not the first time he’s voiced his opinion on the matter. As a former member of the US Marine Corps and a vigilante without superpowers, Castle finds himself in contact with law enforcement all the time and, in one storyline, he explicitly threatened cops who tried imitating him.
Every day it seems yet another prominent American adds their voice to the outcry against police brutality and systematic racism. While late night host Jimmy Kimmel has urged his fans to vote Donald Trump and his violence-condoning followers out of office, others, like J.J. Abrams and Michael Jordan, have donated millions of dollars to Black Lives Matter-affiliated charities.