News & Politics

Rep. Duncan Hunter Removes Painting in Capitol Depicting a Cop as a Pig

A painting showing police terrorizing a black neighborhood, with one of the cops depicted as a wild boar, has been hanging in the hallway of the U.S. Capitol building for months, drawing criticism from police organizations around the country.

A description of the painting makes you wonder if the judges were drunk or perhaps someone slipped them some LSD:

His winning work is an acrylic painting featuring a downtown street scene with the Gateway Arch displayed in the background and three police officers with animal heads, two with guns in hand, and a large group of marchers moving toward the police.


The lead marcher carries a sign that says the word “history.” Pulphus’ painting includes several signs, one of which says “Racism Kills,” and another “Stop Killing.” On the right you can see a man being crucified wearing a graduation cap holding the scales of justice in his hands.

The painting is an interpretation of the months of unrest that took place in the region in response to the fatal shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown Jr. by then-Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson on August 9, 2014.

The painting took first place in a congressional student art competition in St. Louis and was put up at the urging of Rep. Lacy Clay. Clay had this to say about the work of “art”:

In his remarks to the overflow crowd of young artists, parents and teachers who gathered at Webster University’s new downtown St. Louis campus in the historic Arcade Building, Congressman Clay said, “Tonight, we are celebrating our sixteenth year of recognizing outstanding young artistic talent. As you can see from the artwork on display here, the level of talent is truly impressive. Your work is inspiring, and I encourage all of you to continue to develop your creative abilities.”

Leave it to a Marine veteran to take matters into his own hands.

Offended by the thinly veiled insult to police, Rep. Duncan Hunter unscrewed the painting from the wall and took it down, bring it to Rep. Clay’s office.

Fox News:

“I was angry,” Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., told “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.”

Hunter said he walked over to the artwork Friday morning with a few colleagues and unscrewed it. He then delivered it to the office of Rep. Lacy Clay, D-Mo., the congressman whose office had allowed the piece to be displayed. The painting, hanging since June, was done by a high school student who had won Clay’s annual Congressional Art competition.

The piece drew outrage, however, from law enforcement groups and fellow lawmakers.

As for whether the painting will stay down, Hunter said: “Lacy can put it back up, I guess, if he wants to … but I’m allowed to take it down.”

Clay’s office has not yet responded to a request from for comment.

More than 27,000 law enforcement professionals had been protesting the display of what they called a “reprehensible, repugnant and repulsive” painting in the hallway of the Capitol.

After being told the piece was removed, Ron Hernandez, president of the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, said in a statement Friday they were “very pleased.”

He said: “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.”

Clay will argue that the cop with the wild boar’s head is not being depicted as a “pig” and he would be technically correct. But does anyone really believe the substitution was innocent?

There’s enough objectionable imagery in the painting to disqualify it from hanging anywhere near the capitol even without the depiction of a cop as a pig. The fact is, there may be a place and a time to hang this painting, but the center of the United States government isn’t one of them.