Washington, DC - When Rep. Lacy Clay refused to take down an anti-police painting that he had sponsored and that was hanging in the Capitol, Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter took matters into his own hands and took the painting down himself.
According to Fox News, Rep. Duncan Hunter, a Republican from California, said "I was angry. 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.” Rep. Hunter walked over to the painting this morning, January 6, 2017, which was hanging in a Capitol hallway, with a few colleagues, and removed it from the wall. He then delivered the painting to Rep. Clay's office and left it. Rep Hunter also said “Lacy can put it back up, I guess, if he wants to … but I’m allowed to take it down.”
The painting, which depicts police officers as pigs, and shows them pointing guns, has been the subject of much controversy. We also previously covered this issue and called for the painting to be taken down then. Rep. Lacy's response to the issue has been that the painting would stay. After awareness of the painting became known through media coverage, law enforcement officers throughout the nation, pro-law enforcement citizens and groups, and other lawmakers became outraged over the painting.
More than 27,000 law enforcement officers and professionals had protested the display of the painting and said that it was “reprehensible, repugnant and repulsive." When Ron Hernandez, president of The Los Angeles Association of Deputy Sheriff's, learned that the painting had been taken down, he issued a statement that they were "very pleased." He also said that "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.”
The acrylic painting had taken first place in a congressional student art competition in St. Louis. It depicts police officers as pigs, pointing guns at black protesters. Also in the painting, two birds, one black, one white, are shown fighting, and a black protester holding the scales of justice is shown as being crucified. The painting was not titled and was created by a high school senior, David Pulphus. It was on display in a hallway between the Capitol and adjacent House office buildings. Rep. Lacy personally chose the painting to hang in the Capitol and has steadfastly praised it. When negative publicity began about the painting, including demands to take it down, he refused multiple times to do so.
Rep. Duncan Hunter said he was friends with Rep. Clay and called him "a great guy." He also said that men and women in uniform had to be respected for what they do. There has been no comment yet from Rep. Lacy's office.
In this society, with the ongoing war against police, and the lack of respect for what we do, with the hate and violent rhetoric of the Black Lives Matter movement, this painting was completely without merit and disrespectful to all who serve and have served. It was also divisive and offensive. We commend Rep. Hunter for his actions and support him completely. Thank you, sir, for your respect for us and your public support for us as well. Job well done.
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