Just days after Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter from California removed a controversial anti-police painting from the walls of Capitol Hill, Democratic Congressman William Lacy Clay along with members of the Congressional Black Caucus re-hung the piece. The painting, done by a teen from Rep. Clay’s district, hangs in the Cannon tunnel of the U.S. Capitol and depicts a police officer as a pig and includes black protestors holding signs such as “RACISM KILLS.”
The painting was done by an 18-year-old named David Pulphus who won Rep. Clay’s art competition last May. Clay has not stated whether or not he supported police, but said that he sees the piece of work as an insight to the teen’s view of the police.
The painting has caused quite the controversy among lawmakers and has now been hung and removed several times.
“This is really not about a student art competition anymore,“ Rep. Clay said. ”It’s about defending the Constitution.”
Rep. Hunter said that removing the painting is not in violation of the artist’s first amendment rights because the painting itself does not comply with House rules.
“It’s not about the First Amendment, it’s about the rules of the Capitol,” Rep. Hunter said. “The art competition rules do not allow for this type of painting,” which he described as “offensive.”
On Monday, Rep. Clay threatened to file a police report against Rep. Hunter for his removal of the painting but retracted that idea on Tuesday.
The Independent Journal Review first reported the existence of the painting and have since received backlash from Rep. Clay who called the conservative publication an “alt-right blog” that is to blame for the controversy.
Just hours after the Congressional Black Caucus members rehung the painting, it was reported gone again. Rep. Hunter stated he was not responsible for the latest removal.