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Ottawa police union defends using ‘thin blue line’ again after Edmonton shooting

The Ottawa Police Association is defending its use of the controversial “thin blue line” symbol for the second time in just over a week.

The police association tweeted the symbol Thursday on an image of the Edmonton police logo after two officers were killed in the Alberta capital.

A city councillor had been among those to condemn the use of the symbol on hockey jerseys police officers wore during a charity game last weekend.

The “thin blue line” has been adopted in recent years by far right groups, leading police forces across the country — including Ottawa’s — to ban members from wearing the symbol while on duty. 

The association’s president Matthew Cox said in a statement today that the symbol is meant to honour fallen officers, and that the association is “angry and disappointed” at the “alarming and inaccurate description” of what it means. 

In Canada, the symbol generally looks like a blue line cutting horizontally across a black-and-white version of the Canadian flag. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 17, 2023. 


This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press