punisher logo

Punisher patches worn on U.S. protesters look the same as one worn by Toronto police officer

As many Canadians watched in horror while Donald Trump supporters stormed Capitol Hill and even held protests closer to home, some eagle-eyed Toronto residents spotted a connection between the rioters and a symbol worn by a Toronto Police officer.

The Punisher symbol, a vigilante Marvel Comics character, was seen on at least a few of the Trump supporters at Wednesday night's riots.

The controversial symbol has been linked to a motto: "I may walk among the sheep, but make no mistake, I am the sheepdog," and the Blue Lives Matter movement, which counters the Black Lives Matter fight.

There are stronger links to fascism — the Punisher's skull was partially inspired by the "totenkopf," a skull-and-bones logo worn by the Nazi SS during World War II, according to Forbes.

In September a Toronto police officer was seen wearing a punisher patch on his uniform at a press conference and there were calls to fire the officer.

The officer was eventually called out by his superiors and made to remove the patch.

The symbol has become common amongst Trump supporters.

"Punisher symbol and black garbs have been seen at almost all the protests that have escalated during Trumps presidency," one person wrote on Twitter. "Has continued to be connected to police officers despite Marbles [sic] response to the issue of unauthorized use of the image."

On Wednesday, a Trump supporter wore the Punisher symbol on the front of a vest. The man, dressed in military-like attire, carried a handgun and zip ties as he leapt over seats.

"Handgun. Zip ties. Punisher logo," said one person on Twitter.

One person speculated the zip ties were meant to "tie up hostages."

Another man had the patch sewn onto his backpack.

Noting the use of the symbol, people suggested Marvel distance itself from the character.

"Marvel needs to just retire that Punisher symbol," one person said.

Recently, the creator of the Punisher has been trying to turn the tables on right-wing protesters.

Gerry Conway, the Punisher's co-creator and writer, started his own line of shirts designed by people of colour to take the symbol back from the right, with proceeds to go to Black Lives Matter, according to The Guardian.

Perhaps Trump supporters should think twice when they decide to don the symbol next time.

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