A NSW Police Officer Wore An Offensive White Supremacist Symbol To A Pro-Palestine Protest

A NSW Police Officer Wore An Offensive White Supremacist Symbol To A Pro-Palestine Protest

A NSW Police officer was spotted wearing a ‘thin blue line’ patch at a pro-Palestine protest in Botany over the weekend.

The rally, which saw 19 people arrested, was organised to protest against the arrival of an Israeli cargo ship owned by ZIM, a shipping company which has been accused of transporting supplies and weapons to Israel to support its war on Gaza. 

The ‘thin blue line’ emblem originated as a pro-police symbol to recognise officers who have died in the line of duty, but in recent years has been adopted by white supremacist and far-right movements, becoming synonymous with opponents of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The photo of a NSW police officer wearing a thin blue line patch was provided to PEDESTRIAN.TV by Legal Observers NSW, who also alleged that there were several other NSW police officers wearing thin blue line patches at the protest.

(NSW Police officer wearing thin blue line patch at pro-Palestine protest in Botany, Sydney. Image: Legal Observers NSW)

Legal Observers NSW alleged that officers wearing thin blue line patches behaved aggressively towards protesters. 

“Police used excessive force, throwing several protestors to the ground, using restraint techniques associated with restraint asphyxia, and violently pushing many,” a spokesperson from Legal Observers NSW said.

“Police put cuffs on one protester so tightly that their hands went numb and did not remove the cuffs for 20 minutes after the protestors made them aware they were in pain.”

In addition to this, protesters at the scene also alleged police made overtly sexual gestures towards the group.

“I witnessed a police officer mock ‘wank’ his genital area over speakers,” Sofia, 23, told PEDESTRIAN.TV.

“My friends and I spoke with members of NSW Police who refused to disclose the name and badge number of the specific officer. I personally spoke with three other police officers, two in a senior role.

“I explained which officer had made an offensive sexual gesture and the senior police showed little attention to my seeking action. 

“I felt disgusted and devastated that NSW Police had such little regard for the wellbeing of the public and the group they had been summoned to oversee.”

NSW Police confirmed to PEDESTRIAN.TV that embellishments like the ‘thin blue line’ patch are against uniform regulations.

“The NSW Police Force is aware of the image of an officer wearing a patch that’s not part of the standard NSWPF uniform.

“The NSW Police Force dress policy prohibits the use of non-authorised embellishments on uniforms. The officer will be reminded of the need to comply with the policy,” a spokesperson said.

However the NSW Police did not respond to comment asking if the incident will be investigated, what repercussions police face for breaching the policy and what individuals should do if they see a police officer wearing or acting offensively. 

Australian police have a history of wearing thin blue line symbols and have been spotted wearing them at Sydney’s Mardi Gras, the protest against the removal of sacred Djab Wurrung Trees and at a Black Lives Matter protests. These incidents have sparked internal investigations and officers being told to remove the symbol.