Yesterday’s news that a photo of a police officer shows them wearing some questionable insignia, including a known hate symbol, has made its way to Parliament.
RÚV reports that Þórhildur Sunna Ævarsdóttir, a Pirate Party MP and member of the Judicial Affairs and Education Committee, wants the police to meet with the committee to discuss racism within police ranks and what they are doing to fight it.
As reported, two of the flags seen on the uniform of the officer are the Icelandic version of the “thin blue line” flag, while another is the Vinland Flag, a recognised hate symbol, adorned with the Punisher skull.
Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Þórhildur expressed concerns about what kind of message is being sent with this insignia, saying, “This kind of thing cannot be considered acceptable in a society which claims, at least, to support a reformist policy and a system of justice.”
While the officer in question has said that she did not know about any of the negative connotations of these flags, Þórhildur said that if anything, this underlines a problem, giving us two possible explanations: that either the police lack education in how to identify hate groups and their insignia, “or racism and a culture of violence is flourishing within the police. Either of these are unacceptable.”
The police have emphasised that officers are not permitted to wear insignia that is not a part of the official uniform, with Capital Area Police media contact Gunnar Rúnar Sveinbjörnsson telling the Grapevine that “the police do not in any way support hate speech or symbols that support it. Police officers should not wear any symbols that are not recognised as a part of the police uniform.”
While the police stated on Facebook that the matter has been referred to their supervisory authorities, they would disclose to the Grapevine or other media what consequences, if any, the officer may face.
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