British Columbia

City-sponsored justice awareness mural 'deeply disrespectful,' says Victoria's police chief

The police chief in Victoria, B.C., says a city-sponsored mural on justice issues disrespects members of the police department. Chief Del Manak says the large 'More justice, more peace' mural located in downtown's Bastion Square includes an anti-police slogan.

The large mural located in a downtown city square includes an anti-police slogan

A public mural in Victoria’s Bastion Square funded by the city has drawn criticism because of the acronym ACAB painted inside one of the letters. ACAB is short for All Cops Are Bastards. (Michael McArthur/CBC)

The chief of police in Victoria, B.C., says a city-sponsored mural on justice issues disrespects the members of his department.

Chief Del Manak says the large "More justice, more peace'' mural located in the city's downtown Bastion Square includes an anti-police slogan.

Manak says in a statement part of the mural includes the acronym ACAB, which is commonly held to mean "All Cops Are Bastards" or "All Cops Are Bad."

He says the inclusion of the acronym is "deeply disrespectful" to those who serve in the Victoria Police Department.

Manak says he's spoken to city officials about the message on part of the mural, which was presented to the city as a project to raise awareness of injustices suffered by Black and Indigenous people and others.

The City of Victoria will meet with the African Heritage Association of Vancouver Island next week to discuss the content of the mural. (Michael McArthur/CBC)

A city official says a meeting about the mural's content is set for next week with the African Heritage Association of Vancouver Island, which received a grant to produce the artwork.

A spokesperson for the association could not be immediately reached for comment on the mural, which was a joint effort by 17 artists.

Manak says he was asked about his reaction to the acronym at a meeting Thursday with members of the city's Black community.

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.

(CBC)

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