Last June, police unions and supporters around the country took issue with an acrylic painting that went up in the halls of the U.S. Capitol building. The painting, which won a Congressional Art competition sponsored by Democratic Rep. Lacy Clay of Missouri, was criticized for its sensational depiction of police officers.
Created by St. Louis teenager David Pulphus, the painting shows a pig in a police officer’s uniform with his gun trained on black protesters. Black and white birds fight in the skies above and a black man holding the scales of justice is crucified – just to make sure the painting can hit every possible “controversy” button possible, apparently.
Several police associations released a joint statement asking House Speaker Paul Ryan to remove the painting, insisting that it was perpetuating destructive anti-cop myths.
“This false narrative portrays law enforcement professionals as posing a danger to the very communities we serve,” they wrote. “That is untrue and this ‘art’ reinforces this false narrative and is disrespectful on so many levels.”
Rather than wait around for public pressure to build, though, Rep. Duncan Hunter, a Republican from California, decided to get it over with himself. On Friday morning, he grabbed a couple of his colleagues, unscrewed the painting from the wall, and delivered it to Clay’s office.
“I was angry,” Hunter told Fox News. “I’ve seen the press [reporting] on this for about a week or so. I’m in the Marine Corps. If you want it done, just call us.”
Ron Hernandez, the president of the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, released a statement praising Hunter for taking action.
“At a time of our country facing rising crime and a shortage of those willing to work the streets as police officers and deputy sheriffs, we need to make it clear that depictions of law enforcement officers as pigs in our Nation’s Capital is not acceptable,” said Hernandez.
Co-signed, but isn’t it sad that this is something we “need to make clear”? Doesn’t it say something about how far we’ve strayed as a culture that anyone would think this painting is remotely acceptable for the halls of Congress?
Fortunately, this is the first sign that the war on cops is coming to an end. The first of many, we hope.