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

Two women recognized for multiculturalism, anti-racism work in Surrey

Awards ceremony held on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Homeless deaths in Surrey quadruple between 2007 and 2016

Deaths in the city spiked in 2015 from the previous year

Surrey’s truck survey closes Sunday

‘Sustainable solutions for authorized commercial truck parking’ sought

WATCH: Langley Glow events denied permission to run

Darvonda Nurseries received a notice from the ALC on March 5.

South Surrey firefighters rescue cat from tree

The cat ‘got himself a little too high for comfort’

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Care providers call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of her office

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

North Delta happenings: week of March 21

Events, courses and clubs listings for North Delta

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Baby left alone in vehicle in B.C. Walmart parking lot

Williams Lake RCMP issue warning after attending complaint at Walmart Wednesday

Nowhere to grieve: How homeless people deal with loss during the opioid crisis

Abbotsford homeless advocate says grief has distinct challenges for those living on the streets

Most Read

l -->