Ed Mullins, president of the NYPD Sergeants' Benevolent Association, blasted Rep. Lacy Clay (D-MO) on Tuesday over his decision to rehang a controversial painting depicting police officers as pigs in the Capitol, calling the Democrat an “embarrassment to himself, his constituents, and the nation.”
When asked specifically about Clay’s decision to reach out to police for help in bringing charges against colleague Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) for removing the anti-police painting, Mullins told Independent Journal Review:
“Once again another act of stupidity by Congressman Lacy Clay. No wonder the American public has no faith in elected officials, they simply continue to address the wrong issues.”
However, Mullins went a step further when addressing the actual painting and suggested Clay should be willing to “accept responsibility” for future attacks on police officers.
“Congressman Lacy Clay is an embarrassment to himself, his constituents and the nation. His actions fail to acknowledge that the very well-being of police officers is the very foundation to which free speech is preserve,“ he told IJR. ”His insistence to promote the shooting of police officers only further serves to create a deeper divineness amongst people of color and the officers who serve in their communities. Congressman Lacy Clay should now be willing to accept responsibility for any additional acts of violence and blood shed cast upon police officers."
Just roughly an hour after Clay put the painting back on the wall, it was taken down for a second time. This time, Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) took responsibility for the act of “protest.” Clay then had to put the artwork back up for the second time on Tuesday.
AshLee Strong, a spokesperson for Paul Ryan, indicated the House Speaker will intervene in the battle over the painting.
“There’s general consensus that the painting needs to be addressed, and there will be formal mechanisms by which it will be addressed," Strong said.
Hunter and other critics have argued that the painting violates the rules of the congressional art competition that resulted in the controversial painting being displayed. Specifically, Hunter told Politico the paintings can't be “sensationally divisive.”
Mullins echoed Hunter's statement, urging members of Congress to “oppose the actions of Congressmen Clay and to follow the below guidelines for the Congressional Art Competition.”
A spokesperson for Rep. Dave Reichart (R-WA), a former law enforcement officer, told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch that his office is drafting a letter to the Architect of the Capitol asking for a “review the painting in question and to make a decision about whether or not it should be hanging in the halls of the Capitol according to the rules explained in the guidelines.”