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Randy Sutton

Randy Sutton is a 33-year law enforcement veteran, a trainer, and the national spokesman for The American Council on Public Safety. He served 10 years with the Princeton (N.J.) Police Department and 23 years with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, retiring at the rank of lieutenant. He is an author who has published multiple books on law enforcement.
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Patrol

Painting Depicting Law Enforcement As "Pigs" Has No Place in U.S. Capitol

Hatred of law enforcement should not be displayed in the halls of the United States House of Representatives.

January 03, 2017  |  by ALADS Board of Directors

The following blog post was originally posted on the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs (ALADS) website.

A painting depicting law enforcement as "pigs" and chosen by Congressman Lacy Clay is currently hanging in public space in the United States Capitol. Since Congressman Clay has refused to remove this piece of hate, the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs (ALADS) is calling on House Speaker Paul Ryan to remove this piece of hate from the public space. Hatred of law enforcement should not be displayed in the halls of the United States House of Representatives.

The repulsive piece was selected following an "art competition" by Congressman Lacy Clay. The Congressman hailed the hate piece as containing "symbolic characters representing social injustice" and "events in Ferguson, Missouri." In his opinion, it was "the most creative expression that I've witnessed in the last 16 years."

In this past year, we have seen unprecedented assassinations of multiple police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, with the killers motivated by hatred of police. Sadly, the number of officers killed in ambush attacks in 2016 is more than double the average of the previous decade. This painting or other public displays of hatred of police like chants from groups like Black Lives Matter of "Pigs in a blanket, fry 'em like bacon"  deserve only condemnation, not praise, from public officials.

This isn't a matter of free speech. In just the past year, Congress removed Confederate battle emblems from the tunnels at the Capital following controversy over their display. Congressman Bernie Thompson lauded the removal, stating he was pleased there would no longer be displayed "symbols of hatred and bigotry in the esteemed halls of the United States House of Representatives" and that Congress should "refuse to condone symbols that seek to divide us."

Joe Patterson, President of the St. Louis County Police Association, said it best, "we are not about censorship, but good art and good taste are sometimes not the same thing. This is an extraordinarily disrespectful piece at a minimum. We in the law enforcement community have been continuing to work to build bridges and come to a better understanding with our minority community...and then we have irresponsible leadership from elected officials pouring gasoline on bridges haven't even finished being built yet. He's picking at these wounds that we're trying to heal."

Everyone should be alarmed when those whose job it is to fight crime on a daily basis are being depicted as pigs. Why do otherwise reasoned individuals-despite evidence before them to the contrary-become reflexively critical of police? How can a member of Congress jump to the twisted conclusion that it is okay to hang a painting that adds to the divide in our country and attacks law enforcement? Public safety requires a strong two-way partnership. At a time of our country facing rising crime and a shortage of those willing to work the streets as police officers and deputy sheriffs, we need to make it clear that depictions of law enforcement officers as pigs in our Nation's Capital are not acceptable. The dedicated men and women who put on a uniform daily, who serve to protect our communities, deserve all the support the community can possibly provide.

On behalf of law enforcement officers across this great country, we call on Speaker Ryan to ensure the prompt removal of this painting from general public display at the Capital. If Congressman Clay thinks it should remain at the Capital, then he should move it inside his office, where those who choose to visit the Congressman or his staff can be subjected to a visual display of the Congressman's contempt towards law enforcement.

To repeat and paraphrase Congressman Thompson, this piece of hate should not hang in the "esteemed halls of the United States House of Representatives."

The Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs (ALADS) is the collective bargaining agent representing more than 7,900 deputy sheriffs and district attorney investigators working in Los Angeles County. 


Comments (11)

Displaying 1 - 11 of 11

Mark @ 1/3/2017 7:16 PM

Officers from the USCP should grow some balls and remove the painting one night and make it disappear. Then investigate the theft once it's reported missing and come back with no leads or results. Problem solved.

Bill Miller @ 1/3/2017 8:08 PM

Let's all stand back and honor all who wear the badge. This pig I am proud to be. The "P" that stands for "Pride" and the "I" that shows "Integrity" and let's not forget the "Guts" that are brought to the streets every time we button up the uniform. So wear the name with honor and don't dispare because we all know that just like Trumps deplorables they will never win the stare!

Trigger @ 1/4/2017 6:04 AM

What makes this country great also causes us frustration. The First Amendment unfortunately protects this type of display. I agree with Bill Miller, I have a belt buckle with "PIG" on it with the outside of the buckle displaying "Patience, Integrity, Guts".

army @ 1/4/2017 6:13 AM

I don't think that this painting falls under protected speech. At least, not when it's in the capitol building. The congressman is being racist here.

Katarina Tkachova @ 1/4/2017 6:35 AM

It's horrible to have such a picture in such a place. That's what certain "contests" do - they drag the worst possible things in a public place and call them "art". This displays the decadent souls of those, who have chosen such pictures and displayed them in a public place. This picture must be removed from the public place.

Don @ 1/4/2017 10:15 AM

If that crap can hang, the stars and bars can hang! Lacy Clay is in the same league as Jesse, Al, and the rest! No class and just plain race baiting pieces of crap! No sugar coating here!

LEO ((RET) @ 1/4/2017 4:57 PM

Both the painting and Thompson are sickening and disgusting. I say put the Ten Commandments and the crucifix all over that building.

Tom Ret @ 1/4/2017 5:32 PM

I would give to Lacy Clay the respect and service that he/she deserves commensurate with his/her distain for the police.

Aaron B @ 1/10/2017 4:28 PM

I don't think the painting is "racist". Hateful and ignorant? Yes certainly, however freedom of speech and creative expression should win the day especially in the balls of such a monumental place as this. I think that the painting says alot about the fool who chose to display it, but that he should be allowed to creatively express himself. People need to let go of the idea that someone else's creative expression insults them so they should be offended and go on a social media tirade.

Jeff @ 3/21/2017 10:25 PM

I think its free speech here some more free speech the police men of today are the enemies of freedom

Tim Hoskinson @ 5/9/2017 10:12 PM

I support the Police Officers. I stand by them and with them. I know some Police Officers use Pig as an acronym and say "Pride", Integrity", "Guts." If the sign is being used disparagingly towards our Police force, then take it down, burn it, condemn using that phrase, and prosecute whoever was a part of putting that art in there.

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