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What does the Punisher Symbol mean? Uvalde hallway camera footage shows cop checking phone wallpaper mid-shooting

The Texas school massacre video has been obtained by news outlets which show cops waiting for 45 minutes before helping the students. (Image via @JustinHinze6/Twitter, @WalkerBragman/Twitter)
The Texas school massacre video has been obtained by news outlets which show cops waiting for 45 minutes before helping the students. (Image via @JustinHinze6/Twitter, @WalkerBragman/Twitter)

A disturbing video of the massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas has been obtained by news outlets KVUE-TV and Austin American Statesman, which shows a cop looking at a Punisher symbol on his phone wallpaper before walking to the terrorized classroom.

The incident, which happened on May 24, left 19 children and two teachers dead after an armed man crashed a truck across the street, entered the school premises and fired blindly.

I feel like this photo of the cop checking his phone, which has the punisher logo on it, as children die is a good symbol of the policing mindset. https://t.co/h0KN5uBybg

The 77-minute-long video showed the authorities rushing to Robb Elementary School minutes after the 18-year-old shooter, Salvador Ramos, entered the premises but waited for 45 minutes in the hallway before they breached the classroom. The video also shows a cop using a hand sanitizer and checking his phone before entering the area.

However, a zoomed-in picture of the cop's phone shows that the wallpaper in the background was that of a Punisher symbol.


What does Punisher Symbol actually mean?

An officer in #Uvalde casually uses hand sanitiser and another officer checks his phone (revealing the shown punisher logo) whilst children bleed to death inside Robb Elementary School shooting. #UvaldePoliceCowards https://t.co/IXMWNgARU1

The symbol first became popular in 1974 via The Amazing Spider-Man comics, which featured Vietnam veteran turned assassin-for-hire Frank Castle, also known as the Punisher. Later comics depicted Castle's transformation as The Punisher after seeing his family's murder, motivating him to avenge their deaths by waging his own war on crime.

The Punisher symbol, or the Punisher's Skull, is a white cranium graphic painted on a black background.

Jon Bernthal as The Punisher/Frank Castle https://t.co/9Rsztsm7yI

For years, this symbol has been associated with law enforcement and has been seen on various shirts, flags, and other merchandise. As per Inverse, the skull symbol has been adopted by the military and police aside from several right-wing protestors.

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The Punisher symbols were also seen during the Charlottesville protests as well as during the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

In 2017, the word and symbol got a new meaning after several police vehicles with the symbol pasted on them had the phrase "Blue Lives Matter" written over them, which was heavily criticized.

Post the incident, Police Chief Cameron Logan spoke to news outlet io9, stating:

If a cop has this logo on their phone, they are part of the problem.This isn't the Punisher. This is a terrorist version that believes guns are the solution to everything & they are totally ok with more people dying so they can say we need more guns.PERIOD https://t.co/zqKx89TotY
“We’re getting so many calls, and they’re saying that the Punisher logo [means] we’re out to kill people, and that’s not the meaning behind that.”

While talking to Inverse, Pete Forhan of Thin Blue Line USA said that the meaning of the Punisher symbol has changed over the years.

“It’s adopted a new meaning over the last few years. Less of a violent overtone, more of a promise to criminals: You might think you’re getting away with it, but it’s karma. If you’re committing violent acts, one way or another, you will be meeting consequences.”
POV you’re a cop sporting a Punisher logo and you’re meeting Frank Castle https://t.co/8ThRblCXhZ

Forhan also said that another reason for the Punisher symbol was to honor the officers who had sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.

“So when you wear the skull with the thin blue line, you say, ‘Here are my fallen brothers, and what I’m doing is to keep that legacy going.’”

After Netflix's series The Punisher was released, the infamous symbol once again came into the limelight and was seen in various protests and armed attacks being used by people.

In a tweet, Jon Bernthal, who played the lead role in the series, dubbed the protesters who were seen wearing Punisher skulls as "misguided, lost and afraid."

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Edited by Somava
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