Lawrence, KS – A Democratic candidate for attorney general has defended her marketing poster of a female superhero strangling a police officer with a rope.
Sarah Swain, a criminal defense attorney who aspires to the highest law enforcement position in the state of Kansas, said the offensive, anti-cop poster was intended to represent her duty to “force the truth from the mouth of a police officer,” KSHB reported.
“I understand that this picture has been misconstrued by many as advocating for violence against the police and for that I apologize,” Swain said of the image, which has hung inside the front door of her law firm for many years, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.
The poster depicts a superhero, dressed as Wonder Woman, pulling the rope tightly around the neck of a bound, suffocating police officer.
“The Swain Law Office” was boldly emblazoned at the top of the image to market the law firm.
“As a criminal defense attorney for nearly 17 years, I have seen firsthand the injustice that can be doled out at the hands of less-than-honest police officers,” Swain attempted to justify the poster in a statement, according to KWCH. “I have been involved in many cases where the truth was ignored and people’s lives were destroyed. These are just some of the experiences that eventually led me to run for Attorney General of Kansas.”
Swain claimed that the rope was Wonder Woman's “lasso of truth” and that it was meant to symbolize the “rigors of cross-examination.”
However, the Attorney General candidate’s own political party issued a statement condemning Swain in the wake of the controversy, KSHB reported.
“Promotion of violence against law enforcement officers disqualifies Ms. Swain from serving as Kansas’ chief law enforcement officer,” the Kansas Democratic Party said in the statement. “We strongly condemn and reject any depiction of violence against law enforcement, including the image from Ms. Swain’s law firm.”
“The Kansas Democratic Party honors, respects and supports law enforcement officers,” the statement continued. “As our party’s platform states, ‘our safety is due to the hard work and sacrifice of law enforcement officers ... involved in overseeing the safety of others.’ We thank them for their service."
The Kansas State Troopers Association also blasted Swain over the image, and noted that the issue was especially offensive in the wake of the murders of Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Deputies Patrick Rohrer and Theresa King, who were fatally shot in the line of duty on Friday.
“At a time when funeral arrangements are being made for two heroes that gave their lives in service to our community ... this cannot be tolerated,” the association said, according to The Topeka Capital-Journal.
"No police officer in the state of Kansas will ever trust her to do the right thing," Kansas State Troopers Association executive board member Sage Hill told KSHB.
Swain said that her platform hinges on issues including criminal justice reform, increased transparency in officer-involved shootings, and ending the war on drugs, according to her statement.
The election for Kansas Attorney General will be held on Nov. 6.