A painting that hangs in the U.S. Capitol building has caused backlash among Republicans and police for depicting cops as animals.
The picture, drawn by a high school senior, was the winning piece in an art contest held by Democratic Rep. Lacy Clay back in May, and thus was exhibited at the Capitol complex.
The painting is of the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri after Michael Brown’s death in 2014 and shows two police officers whose heads are replaced by animal heads—one of which appears to be a pig. In the background, a crucified black man is shown in a graduation cap holding scales of justice.
D.C. police have called the painting, which now hangs in the tunnel between the Capitol building and the Longworth House Office Building, “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,” Andy Maybo, president of The Fraternal Order of Police District of Columbia Lodge #1, told The Daily Caller. “The fact that a member of Congress would advocate and praise such a painting is reprehensible.”
Congressional Republicans echoed those sentiments.
“It is disheartening to see this depiction of law enforcement hanging in the hallway of our nation's Capitol where officers work everyday to protect our safety and freedoms,” Rep. Dave Reichert, told The Independent Journal Review. “Unfortunately, many people of influence have taken part in promoting offensive and inaccurate caricatures of the very people who do the most to protect our families.”
In a press release about the piece in May, Clay said it “portrays a colorful landscape of symbolic characters representing social injustice, the tragic events in Ferguson, Missouri and the lingering elements of inequality in modern American society.”