A painting sparked outrage for its depiction of police officers as animals.
High school senior David Pulphus painted a portrait of the events and unrest that followed the 2014 death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, at the hands of police. Following an art competition, the painting was selected to be displayed on Capitol Hill in the U.S. Capitol building, and was met with outraged upon its unveiling, Fox News reports.
The painting shows two police officers whose heads are replaced with those of different animals -- one of which is a pig. The cops can be seen aiming guns at protesters. In the back of the painting is a black man on a crucifix in a graduation cap.
The piece was selected to win the contest by Democratic Rep. Lacy Clay of Missouri, who said it "portrays a colorful landscape of symbolic characters representing social injustice, the tragic events in Ferguson, Missouri and the lingering elements of inequality in modern American society."
Fraternal Order of Police District of Columbia Lodge #1 president Andy Maybo said in a statement: "During a time in our society when tensions are so high that someone can be offended by a single word, this painting does nothing but attack law enforcement to its core. The fact that a member of Congress would advocate and praise such a painting is reprehensible."
Republican Rep. Dave Reichert of Washington, a former police officer, told the Independent Journal Review that he was shocked by the painting:
It is disheartening to see this depiction of law enforcement hanging in the hallway of our nation's Capitol where officers work everyday to protect our safety and freedoms. Unfortunately, many people of influence have taken part in promoting offensive and inaccurate caricatures of the very people who do the most to protect our families.
While I understand in some neighborhoods trust between police and communities has all but deteriorated, we must work on rebuilding these relationships and focus on our shared goals of peace and civility.