An "art project" in Cincinnati turned sour after one student’s display showed a man in a police officer’s uniform — with a pig’s head for a face — standing in front of news articles highlighting police shootings.
The art piece was displayed in the Madeira Municipal Building for the annual art fair, according to WCPO-TV — and was the result of an assignment given by Madeira City Schools, which instructed students to “Take current event articles published in newspapers or magazines on a similar topic and then summarize those articles into a visual representation of the feelings and emotions within the articles selected.”
Many were outraged with the image and allegedly sent threats to the student artist, while others called the Madeira Police Department to express their outrage. The art piece was removed soon after.
“I think the picture of a police officer as a pig, I found offensive,” Byron Marks, an artist, told WCPO. “On the other hand, I’m troubled by the number of unarmed Americans who’ve been shot by police in the past year or so.”
Amy Phillips, whose daughter attends Madeira City Schools, told the outlet, “We have the First Amendment for a reason and sometimes it’s not comfortable to have it, but I would rather protect that freedom of expression than limit what people are saying and try and limit the conversation just because it’s uncomfortable.”
In a statement Madeira City Schools said they removed the student’s work, “out of concern for the safety of the student,” adding that “it was not the intention of the student to evoke such a divisive response.”
How did officers feel about the display?
The Madeira Police Department said they received complaints about the art piece but didn’t mention if they asked for it to be removed.
"The members of the Madeira Police Department fully respect and support the student's right to free speech and recognize that this young artist is very talented," the department wrote in a statement, according to the station. "However, officers are troubled by the perceived message of the student's art project."
Lt. Dan Hils, president of the local police union, doubled down on that statement.
“For me, the word I think of is just a little disappointed — disappointed that there is youth that believe that of police officers,” he said, adding: “It’s a beautiful thing our country has — the ability for people to express how they feel and this young person was expressing how they feel. I feel they were wrong.”
H/T: The Blaze