Just days after a police officer was caught on camera wearing a Punisher logo during an altercation at a community oversight meeting, Gerry Conway has offered his own thoughts about the incident. The creator of the character has been on the record about these issues before and he's not alone. The star of the Netflix series has also commented on similar sightings and their message is pretty clear on the matter. But, this is an occurrence that seems to pop up pretty regularly around the country without any signs of slowing down.
The Punisher's relationship to real world politics is particularly thorny because of the ideologies that power the character. Frank Castle is a vigilante plain and simple. In Conway's eyes that makes him a failing of the justice system in a number of ways. The need for revenge and people seeking out their own justice would not be necessary if everything worked as it should in the creator's estimation. Therefore, any law enforcement individual that displays the emblem or wears it is missing the point of the character in Conway's own words. He had more words on Twitter today.
Any "cop" who wears a Punisher logo in his official capacity is identifying law enforcement with an outlaw. These "cops" are a disgrace to serious police officers everywhere. They show an imbecilic level of irresponsibility and should be fired immediately. https://t.co/8mJ0Mzp89x— Gerry Conway (@gerryconway) October 11, 2019
This entire incident stems from tensions in Dallas after the murder trial of Amber Guyger after she mistakenly killed Botham Jean in his home. Then, one of the men who testified in the case, Joshua Brown, was killed in a drug deal gone bad, according to police. (The investigation is still ongoing.) The department maintains that it had no involvement in Brown's murder. The meeting in question did not feature any time for public comments, and when the members of the community tried to speak their peace a large scuffle broke out. The officer with the logo on his hat was spotted doing the fracas and is now the subject of an internal investigation.
Conway's comments are just the latest time he's had to speak up about seeing the symbol of his character on law enforcement and military vehicles. As stated above, he believes that these officers are missing the point of The Punisher.
"I've talked about this in other interviews," Gerry Conway said during an interview earlier this year. "To me, it's disturbing whenever I see authority figures embracing Punisher iconography because the Punisher represents a failure of the Justice system. He's supposed to indict the collapse of social moral authority and the reality some people can't depend on institutions like the police or the military to act in a just and capable way."
"The vigilante anti-hero is fundamentally a critique of the justice system, an example of social failure, so when cops put Punisher skulls on their cars or members of the military wear Punisher skull patches, they're basically sides with an enemy of the system," He continued. "They are embracing an outlaw mentality. Whether you think the Punisher is justified or not, whether you admire his code of ethics, he is an outlaw. He is a criminal. Police should not be embracing a criminal as their symbol."
"It goes without saying," Conway added. "In a way, it's as offensive as putting a Confederate flag on a government building. My point of view is, the Punisher is an anti-hero, someone we might root for while remembering he's also an outlaw and criminal. If an officer of the law, representing the justice system puts a criminal's symbol on his police car, or shares challenge coins honoring a criminal he or she is making a very ill-advised statement about their understanding of the law."