LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Democratic Party is calling for its lone candidate for state attorney general to drop out of the race because of a poster in her law office showing the superhero Wonder Woman pulling a lasso around a police officer’s neck.
Lawrence attorney Sarah Swain apologized amid the resignation call from her party. The Kansas State Troopers Association and other police groups also criticized her, saying the poster promotes violence against police officers.
Swain said she had hung the poster in her law office for years and that it was not meant to encourage violence against law officers or anyone else, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported .
“I understand that this picture has been misconstrued by many as advocating for violence against the police, and for that I apologize,” Swain said. “I am not anti-law enforcement. I am pro-truth. And I do not condone violence in any form.”
The state Democratic Party said the poster disqualifies Swain from becoming the state’s top law enforcement officer.
“We strongly condemn and reject any depiction of violence against law enforcement, including the image from Swain’s law firm,” the party said in a statement. “We did not recruit or encourage Swain to run for attorney general, nor have we had any contact with her since she filed.”
The Kansas State Troopers Association noted the controversy erupted just days after two Wyandotte County sheriff’s deputies were shot and killed while transporting an inmate.
“At a time when funeral arrangements are being made for two heroes that gave their lives in service to our community ... this cannot be tolerated,” the organization said.
Swain said the poster shows Wonder Woman using her “lasso of truth” to force the truth from a police officer, which she said is a metaphor for cross-examination and a zealous defense. Her platform calls for criminal justice reform, including the decriminalization of marijuana, ending the war on drugs and increased transparency for police shootings.
“As a criminal defense attorney for nearly 17 years, I have seen firsthand the injustice that can be doled out at the hands of less-than-honest police officers,” Swain said. “I have been involved in many cases where the truth was ignored and people’s lives were destroyed. These are just some of the experiences that eventually led me to run for attorney general.”
If Swain withdraws from the race, incumbent Republican Attorney General Derek Schmidt will run unopposed in November.
Clint Blaes, a spokesman for the attorney general, said Schmidt “respects and admires the selfless service of more than 8,000 law enforcement officers who put themselves at risk to protect and serve Kansans each and every day.”
Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, http://www.ljworld.com