Queensland police have stated they’re “making enquiries” after an officer was photographed allegedly sporting a patch related to far-right extremism at a Black Lives Matter protest on Friday.
Images circulating on social media confirmed an Australian police officer sporting a patch depicting the US flag bisected diagonally with a blue line. It seems similar to common variations of the “skinny blue line” flag utilized by excessive rightwing teams within the US.
Eighteen folks have been arrested on the protest, which was organised as a part of the Black Lives Matter motion after a 49-year-old Indigenous lady died in custody in Brisbane final week.
“The Queensland police service is conscious of an officer sporting a patch which isn’t a part of the usual QPS uniform and is making enquiries into the matter,” a spokesman stated. “In sure conditions, officers can search approval to put on a uniform which varies from the usual uniform coverage.”
It’s understood that these exemptions are not often made, and police are investigating if the officer sought permission.
The patch is partially obscured in images however seems to be much like a variation of the “skinny blue line” flag which was initially designed to spotlight solidarity between US and Canadian police forces. The Australian variations usually don’t embrace the US flag.
The flag has been adopted by those that oppose the Black Lives Matter motion, and has been related to violent white supremacist actions.
It was flown alongside the Accomplice flag through the 2017 “unite the best” rally in Charlottesville, North Carolina, the place a girl was killed by a white supremacist who drove his automobile right into a crowd of counter-protesters.
It stays a well-liked image in US police forces and amongst supporters of Donald Trump.
In Brisbane on Friday protesters rallied exterior the Roma Road police headquarters chanting “allow them to go” as officers handcuffed a demonstrator and put them in a police van.
After scuffles broke out with police, the demonstrators moved by the town, disrupting site visitors, earlier than coming to a halt on the Queen Road mall simply earlier than midday.
Brisbane Greens councillor Jonathan Sri, who filmed the occasion, stated the demonstration was peaceable till officers grew to become concerned.
“Residents have been protesting peacefully, spaced out safely, and with out warning or negotiation, police began arresting folks, turning a secure state of affairs right into a tense one,” Sri stated.
Footage confirmed demonstrators gathered round a police automobile whereas some painted their arms purple, chanting “blood in your arms” at officers as what appeared like handprints have been smeared on the partitions of the police headquarters and on ready autos.
Police are investigating the dying of the Indigenous lady, however stated an post-mortem indicated the 49-year-old died from pure causes. The girl had appeared in courtroom on Monday on drug and property offences.
She had been as a result of be transferred to jail from the Brisbane metropolis watch home however was discovered useless in her cell early on Thursday.
It was the primary time anybody had died contained in the station in its 20-year historical past, assistant commissioner Brian Codd stated.
“I’d wish to sincerely go on my condolences to her household, her family members, her subsequent of kin, and in addition significantly the elders of Indigenous communities who we’ve been engaged with all through yesterday to help in, I suppose, respecting the cultural sensitivities related along with her passing,” he stated on Friday.
“A autopsy examination seems to point that the dying was by pure causes.”
The moral requirements command is investigating her dying on behalf of the coroner, overseen by the Corruption and Crime Fee.