There is a controversy brewing over a piece of “protest” art hanging in the United States Capitol building that was placed there as a way of humiliating police officers over the shooting and death of Michael Brown. This young black man had stolen from a convenience store in Missouri and was high on drugs when the cop shot him after the he attempted to take the officer’s gun in a scuffle.
The painting was part of an annual Congressional Art Competition and was selected on behalf of Representative Lacy Clay (D-MO) to be displayed in the capitol building hallway.
Since then, the painting has been taken down permanently by the Architect of the Capitol, but the battle isn’t over yet. Now there’s a lawsuit involved!
From Independent Journal Review:
The controversial painting, called simply “Untitled #1,” depicts police officers as pigs and symbolizes the unrest that followed the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson.
The painting ruffled feathers on both sides of the aisle, with many claiming it is an inappropriate piece of art to be hanging in the nation’s Capitol building.
In fact, Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) was so outraged he took action and removed the painting from the wall.
In response to the alleged “suppression of freedom of speech,” Clay and members of the Congressional Black Caucus re-hung the painting.
[S]hortly after the painting was put back up, Representative Doug Lamborn (R-CO) promptly removed it again. Clay put the artwork back on the wall for the third time, but this time, with an addition above it:
Ultimately, the painting was ordered removed by the Architect of the Capitol, Stephen Ayers. Despite what appeared to be an end to the intense battle, it seems the final removal of the painting was only the beginning.
And now, Representative Clay wants to pursue legal action through a federal lawsuit over a painting.
A statement from Clay’s office said:
“Seven months after being displayed as part of a public exhibit, a deluge of alternative right media, aided by the unauthorized actions of certain reactionary members of Congress, deprived Mr. Pulphus of his constitutionally guaranteed 1st Amendment Right of Free Expression.”
Clay said he is “proud to defend both the fundamental rights of his constituent and the 1st Amendment,” and will seek an “appropriate remedy” through the federal litigation.
His suit will reportedly name the Architect of the Capitol as the defendant, although it’s not clear if the congressman will seek a financial “remedy” or just that the painting be returned to its “rightful” spot on the wall.
Representative David Reichert (R-WA) called the painting a “slap in the face” to law enforcement and claimed it violated competition rules.
Someone needs to explain to Rep. Clay that even though the artist has a right to express his feelings about police officers in a painting, he doesn’t have the fundamental right to have it displayed in the nation’s capitol building without approval from those who will be forced to look at it!
If there’s one thing a liberal loves, it’s getting up in a conservative’s face with a holier-than-thou double standard. In this example, displaying artwork in a public building that depicts police officers as pigs, showing complete disrespect for the officers who must walk by that painting every day and still go out and do their jobs protecting minorities who hate them.
Source: Independent Journal Review