The Catlettsburg police department, in Eastern Kentucky, has chosen to remove a large, Punisher inspired decal from the hood of their police cruisers and SUVs. The decal design used a stylized version of the Punisher skull and the phrase ‘Blue Lives Matter’. The department employs eight full-time and two part-time officers and has eight vehicles to serve a population of roughly 2,500. Local residents praised the logo, but other members of the commonwealth started raising questions.
The logo design was spearhead by Chief Cameron Logan who told the Herald-Ledger:
That design is basically to give back to the police officers. Our lives matter just as much as anybody’s. … I’m not racist or anything like that, I’m not trying to stir anything up like that. I consider it to be a ‘warrior logo.’ Just cause it has ‘Blue Lives Matter’ on the hood, all lives matter. That decal represents that we will take any means necessary to keep our community safe.
The logo was approved by the city council and Mayor Randall Peterson. Kentucky has passed a bill called Blue Lives Matter, which states that crimes against police officers are to be considered hate crimes. The Blue Lives Matter movement has strong support in the state of Kentucky.
It’s not 100% clear if the reason the Chief has decided to remove the decals was based on the negative feedback form some in the community or from fear of negative attention from Disney who owns Marvel Comics and the Punisher as the use of the logo could be considered infringement of intellectual property rights. They did not get Disney’s permission prior to creating the decals. Also, critics say that the Punisher is a rather poorly thought out symbol for a law enforcement agency.