The past several years have given police officers good reason to be on the defensive. A relatively small number of cops behaving badly, a sensationalist press, and powerful political demagogues all contributed to increasing the size of the bullseye on the backs of decent cops.
That being said, a police department using the logo of Marvel Comics’ The Punisher was a truly boneheaded idea. Literally and figuratively.
The police department in Catlettsburg, Kentucky has been using the logo on their police cars for several years but has now decided to stop because of public pushback.
The designs were spearheaded by Police Chief Cameron Logan, who worked with a vinyl decal shop in Louisiana to get the decals printed. Logan installed the decals on all the police vehicles in December. He would not discuss how much the decals cost.
“That design is basically to give back to the police officers,” Logan, who has been with the department for 13 years, said before reversing course on the emblems. “Our lives matter just as much as anybody’s. … I’m not racist or anything like that, I’m not trying to stir anything up like that. I consider it to be a ‘warrior logo.’ Just ’cause it has ‘Blue Lives Matter’ on the hood, all lives matter. That decal represents that we will take any means necessary to keep our community safe.”
Central to the decals was the Punisher, the nom de guerre of the Marvel anti-hero Frank Castle, a former Force Reconnaissance Marine and Vietnam War veteran who doles out justice “using torture, murder and kidnapping in his anti-crime crusade,” according to Time Magazine
The creator of The Punisher, Gerry Conway even weighed in on the Kentucky controversy.
Question @gerryconway: Don't you consider Punisher a villain?
— Greg Fahlgren (@gregfahlgren) February 24, 2017
He's a complex morally compromised anti-hero, not to be emulated by cops https://t.co/VYFQsGZ4B9
— Gerry Conway (@gerryconway) February 24, 2017
In a time when police are trying to defend their own image, using this symbol was a terrible idea and stopping the practice is a wise move.