Controversial Artwork Removed From State Capitol

What some say is artwork supporting police at the Capitol has been removed over concerns that it could actually represent opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement.

A handmade wooden plaque was donated weeks ago by a member of the Capitol Police. The office of Legislative Management said they decided to hang it in the police memorial in the concourse that connects the Legislative Office Building to the Capitol building. The thin blue line is recognized by some as a symbol of support for law enforcement.

But others view it as a symbol of opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement, and it was seen during a Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in 2017.

“In the context of history behind it a lot of my members expressed a lot of concerns especially in this building,” said Rep. Brandon McGee, (D) chairman of the Black & Puerto Rican Caucus.

“We are not anti- you know - police we support our men in blue but we also know that given the history around black people, people of color with respect to this particular issue. I just think it was necessary to share our concerns with our leadership,” McGee explained.

The plaque was taken down Tuesday morning. The Fraternal Order of Police, who represent thousands of officers throughout the state, said its removal is an attack on police officers and that they would like to see it placed back on the wall.

“I’m saddened and disappointed that in times the times were in now that something like this could actually happen,” said John Krupinsky, president of the Connecticut State Fraternal Order Of Police.

Artwork in the concourse is usually put through a vetting process, but the Office of Legislative Management said they felt the piece was appropriate to hang without vetting in a corner that is specifically reserved for the police memorial, and that they also made the call to take it down. They said the piece itself is now in a storage room waiting to be returned to its owner.

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