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California in Congress

California's Rep. Dana Rohrabacher is latest lawmaker to pull down painting in Capitol depicting police as pigs

Hours after members of the Congressional Black Caucus rehung the controversial painting depicting police officers as pigs that Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) pulled down Friday, it's been pulled down twice more by Republican House members.

The painting depicts a clash between police and protesters on a street. In it, gun-wielding officers have heads that resemble boars, while one protester appears to be a panther or wolf, and people on the street hold signs that read “History,” “Justice Now” and “Racism Kills.” It was the local winner of a national high school art competition and came from the district of Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.).

Most recently, Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) and Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) pulled it off the wall. (The audio isn't working on the accompanying clip.)

"We support freedom of speech, but you don't put something attacking policemen, treating them like pigs, here in the Capitol," Rohrabacher told Roll Call.

Clay had rehung the painting around midday after Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) removed it. Shortly after Rohrabacher and Babin removed the painting and took it to Clay's office, it was back on the wall in the tunnel.

Republican members are asking the Architect of the Capitol to permanently remove the piece, which has hung for six months in a block-long tunnel used by visitors, staff and members of Congress to pass from the House office buildings to the Capitol.

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) told Republicans in a closed-door meeting Tuesday that he and Republican leaders would overrule the architect and pull down the painting if the architect chooses not to remove it, according to a staff member in the room who asked not to be named because the person is not permitted to release information about the meeting. Hunter also confirmed Ryan's position to Politico .

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