MEADEVILLE, Pa. – Artwork that includes “kill cops” in creating controversy at a Pennsylvania college. The painting is stirring up mixed feelings that vary depending upon contextual interpretation.

“When you write something like that, that’s pretty negative in my book, so I’m not a fan of it at all. Not sure how I looked at the rest of the painting, didn’t see much else that I understood,” said Chris Brucker, Meadville resident.

Brucker says although the painting has more to it than those words, they can still have a hurtful impact. “I know the First Amendment says freedom of speech and everything but I think there’s a line, cause a lot of people start thinking in good and bad ways,” said Brucker. 


The painting is stirring up mixed feelings that vary depending upon contextual interpretation. (FOP Lodge 97 Facebook)

The 20-year old Allegheny College student who did the painting spoke to about the artwork, but wanted to stay anonymous for the fear of retaliation. “I believe that my piece has been taken completely out of context, specifically the one that contains the words ‘kill cops,’ they were stripped away of the totality of the rest of the competition an the meaning behind it,” said the artist of the painting.

The Meadville City Police FOP Lodge 97 responded to the artwork as well on their Facebook page, you can see the full post and images below. 

In response to the “artwork” that was displayed at Allegheny College….. Maybe the artist had good intentions. Art is open for individual interpretation. However…. Freedom of expression does come with consequences. It is known that some employees of Allegheny asked administrators for the picture to be removed because of the Kill Cops portion. Their request was ignored even with a warning that the depiction could be inflammatory.

We have attached the entire picture of the artwork, not just the specific portion. You can judge the “context” of this work. It has been removed from public display. We have also attached the official Allegheny College explanation. Disappointing that this was displayed, more disappointing that it took so much outcry for it to actually be removed. To everyone that supports law enforcement, thank you so much for your continued support.

The artist told that he is open to discussing his painting with people who were offended and his true meaning was to capture urban street art. “I hope that there is no ill will between Allegheny, Meadville or between cops and anyone,” he said.

Allegheny College released a statement regarding the controversial painting. It reads:

The artist, the art Department, and Allegheny College do not condone violence toward police or any group of people. This artwork when viewed fully documents an urban street scene in which many controversial slogans are visible. The intent from the artist is to call for an end to mindless violence, just the opposite from the context being circulated on social media. But, because of this unintended consequence, the artist has agreed to remove the piece from public display. To further this conversation, the Art Department and the artist will offer a panel discussion to the campus community later in the semester.

The painting has since been removed.

Sound off. What are your thoughts?