Rep. Duncan Hunter removes painting depicting police as pigs

Rep. Duncan Hunter removed a controversial painting from a hallway which connects to the U.S. Capitol Friday. The painting depicts a street protest with people holding signs including “racism kills.” One protester in the foreground has the head of a wolf or a dog and is giving a black power salute. Two police officers, depicted as pigs, are pointing guns at the protester. Fox News’ Chad Pergram posted a photo of the painting on Twitter:

Rep. Lacy Clay, who represents Ferguson, Missouri, sponsored the annual art competition that resulted in this painting winning first place, though he says he did not have anything to do with selecting it. Clay has been asked to remove the painting by callers to his office and law enforcement organizations. The St. Louis County Police Association called the painting a “punch in the mouth.” Earlier this week Clay told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Yes, some people find it offensive. I don’t find it offensive. I find it to be an expression of what one of my constituents is feeling about what he has experienced.”

Police organizations around the country don’t see it that way. Washington D.C.’s Fraternal Order of Police told the Daily Caller last month, “This piece of art, which depicts officers as pigs, is both offensive and disgusting. During a time in our society when tensions are so high that someone can be offended by a single word, this painting does nothing but attack law enforcement to its core.”

This Tuesday, police associations from San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and other cities wrote a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan asking him to remove the painting. The letter reads in part:

This latest indignation, sponsored by an elected official intent on pandering to professional protesters, unfortunately adds credence to a demonstrably false narrative about law enforcement that undermines the safety of law enforcement officers and those we protect. This false narrative portrays law enforcement professionals as posing a danger to the very communities we serve. That is untrue and this “art” reinforces this false narrative and is disrespectful on so many levels.

Speaker Ryan, please stand up for those of us in law enforcement and immediately remove this stain from our beloved Capitol and send a message that you support the men and women of law enforcement over those that perpetrate lies about our profession.

At a press conference yesterday Ryan said he had not seen the letter or the artwork in question.