Representative Lacy Clay (D-MO-1) wants Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA-50) to be charged with “theft” for taking away an anti-cop painting from the walls of the U.S. Capitol complex.
Breitbart News earlier reported that the painting was put up in the Capitol complex after Clay picked it as a suitable depiction of the August 9, 2014, fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. It shows police officers as animals with tusks.
“I’ve seen the press [reporting on this painting] for about a week or so. … I’m in the Marine Corps. If you want it done, just call us,” Hunter said after he removed the painting from the wall on January 6. “Lacy can put it back up, I guess, if he wants to … but I’m allowed to take it down,” he then said after he delivered the painting to Clay’s office.
Clay now wants “theft” charges filed against Hunter.
Clay talked about the removal of the painting on Monday, saying that “his staff conferred with members of the Capitol Police on Monday to file theft charges against Rep. Duncan D. Hunter,” according to The Washington Post. , “He had no right to take that picture down, it’s thievery,” Clay added.
Clay intends to rehang the anti-police painting on January 10 and will be complemented by the Congressional Black Caucus while doing it.
The artist behind the painting is David Pulphus. Clay defended Pulphus’ animal representation of officers in Ferguson, saying:
These are his impressions. Those are his feelings. That’s how he formed his opinion, and he expressed it in his art. So what’s wrong with that? Any black parent would tell you that they have to have this conversation with their children about police and how to act around them, so that’s the conversation we need to be having here. Not about taking some kid’s picture off the wall — it should be about, how do we change these attitudes and improve the relationships between police and the black community?
The rift between Clay and Hunter over attitudes concerning police officers is a microcosm of the bigger gap that exists between the Republican Party and the Democrat Party. For instance, during the 2016 presidential campaign, the National Fraternal Order of Police (NFOP) provided Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton with a questionnaire to answer. She did not even bother returning it to them.
Chuck Canterbury, the president of NFOP, said he was shocked and disappointed.
The NFOP endorsed Donald Trump for president about a month later. “[Trump] has seriously looked at the issues facing law enforcement today. He understands and supports our priorities and our members believe he will make America safe again,” said Canterbury, as quoted by The Hill.