State agency to remove convicted cop killer's artwork

An exhibit by Leonard Peltier at the state Department of Labor & Industries Tumbwater office is being condemned by law enforcers.

TUMWATER, Wash. -- The state's Department of Labor and Industries will remove four paintings from a lobby exhibit after a number of complaints.

The works were painted by Leonard Peltier.

Peltier completed the paintings from prison, where he is serving two life sentences following a conviction for the murder of two FBI agents.

Chauncey Peltier, Leonard's son, is exhibiting his father's paintings in galleries around the country in an attempt to raise awareness for his father's attempt to be granted a presidential pardon.

"He's nothing but a thug," said retired FBI agent Ray Lauer. "He's an unrepentant cop killer."

Lauer is a member of the Retired FBI Agents Association, which wrote a letter to Labor and Industries demanding the removal of the paintings.

A Labor and Industries spokesperson said the works will be "rotated out" of the exhibit next week and will be replaced by another artist.

The paintings were part of a lobby exhibit to mark National American Indian Heritage Month by the Department of Labor and Industries.

Spokesperson Tim Church said the department was not trying to further Peltier's cause by displaying his art.

"That was in no way our intent," said Church. "It (the exhibit) doesn't delve into any of the background of the situation that happened years ago."


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