NSW Police have confirmed in an emailed statement that they are ‘looking into’ reports of an on-duty officer wearing a ‘Thin Blue Line’ on his uniform- the night of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras on March 6, 2021. The symbol itself is associated with pro police and an anti-Black Lives Matter movement, and often takes the form of a black and white version of the country’s flag with a blue, horizontal stripe through the middle.
“The NSW Police Force is aware of reports of an officer wearing a patch which is not part of the standard NSWPF uniform. Officers from Quakers Hill Police Area Command are making inquiries into the matter,” the statement reads.
Images of the officer in question, appeared on social media on Saturday evening after he was spotted by attendees of the Pride In Protest march along Oxford St which preceded the evening’s festivities.
“Please explain this patch, @nswpolice? Is officer #### wearing a NSW police sanctioned uniform modification for Sydney Mardi Gras?” tweeted one social media user, who claims to have been responsible for clicking the image.
Confirming the incident via a lengthy post on Facebook, Pride In Protest have said that an attendee of the Pride In Protest march witnessed “Officer moves away after the search and one of the people present asked one of the other officers whether the patch was a sanctioned modification to Officer’s uniform. They told the officer that the patch had been sanctioned in Victoria as a symbol of white supremacy and had been the subject of a formal apology by a Victoria police officer who was wearing it. The officer said he did not think the patch represented ‘that’ and otherwise did not respond.”
“Three other officers in the vicinity heard the exchange regarding the patch, and all of them stayed silent. Shame on ### and NSW police force…Although our march was successful, clearly our demands were not heard by the NSW Police. It is impossible to conceive of this as anything other than an act of intimidation from ### and his colleagues.”
NSW Police had of course tried to prevent this year’s Pride In Protest march from going ahead, yet the group were granted a last minute exemption by NSW Health and in the actions of at least this one of officer, proof that now more than ever, we need to be standing up against such blatant acts of antagonism and bigotry from police and law enforcements officers whom should stand to protect all, not just a chosen few.
At the time of publication, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras had not responded publicly to the reports.
If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.
For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14
For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.