House Democrats and Republicans are duking it out in Washington, D.C., over a controversial painting depicting a police officer as a pig.
Republicans took down the painting depicting a clash between police officers and protesters on Tuesday, Jan. 10, claiming the work of art disrespects law enforcement nationwide.
“It portrays police officers as pigs and it doesn’t belong in the U.S. Capitol,” Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-California) tells the press. “It is that simple. And we’re going to take it down. Actually, [it] violates House rules.”
The painting was the winner of an annual art competition and was submitted by a constituent of Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-Missouri). Throughout the day, Clay kept rehanging the piece of art despite his colleagues’ repeated attempts to remove it.
“It’s about defending the Consitution,” Clay says. “It is just pathetic that some Republican members and alt-right media types who constantly refer to themselves as constitutionalist conservatives don’t think that same document protects the fundamental free-speech rights of my 18-year-old constituent.”
For six months, the painting hung without complaint in a block-long tunnel used by visitors and members of Congress to travel from between House office buildings and the Capitol, according to Los Angeles Times. That is, until last week, when Hunter pulled it down for the first time after an article from a conservative website drew outrage from other Republicans.
House Republican Barry Loudermilk told Fox News he plans to remove the painting once and for all and replace it with a poster with the names of officers killed in the line of duty.