"Some call him pig!"

Sadie (and Nate, and MagicWolfDog, etc.) noticed an interesting painting at their local police station. The painting is titled "And some call him pig!" and features an officer of the West Virginia State Police. What the officer is doing, exactly, suggests well-trodden debates over artistic intent and effect.

The phrase was to be found in a pro-police billboard ad campaign produced by a Minneapolis ad agency in 1971. It's obviously the direct inspiration, more competently painted if no less peculiar.

It was noticed by radical Italian architect Gianni Pettena.

That poster was paid for by the police department to celebrate the courage of their agents, but faced with the image of a policeman kissing a little boy on the mouth, I said that it was no surprise they were called 'pigs.' But I was the only one to have seen it as a kiss and the others saw nothing funny in it"

The campaign cropped up in Rochester, N.Y. and many other places. Here it is being mocked by Hustler:

In print some interesting early echoes I see are Age of Bone, a 1972 MFA thesis by Andrew Grossbardt, and various references (1,2) about that time to the billboard advertisements.

The memory of this campaign is dear to the boomers and it turns up now and again. Here's a mid-2000s' revival photographed on a billboard in Georgia, with some new additions: the subtitle "I call him OFFICER & SIR!!" and the attribution to "Bobby Peters Mayor." Peters was mayor of Columbus, Georgia and is now on the Superior Court there; his wikipedia biography makes note that "in a field of six candidates, including a black minister and the president of the N.A.A.C.P., he won without a runoff and won every black precinct in the city," that being important for some reason to this white judge.