To raise awareness in an ironic way over what Occupy Wall Street sympathizers are calling police brutality over some actions from law enforcement against activists, 46 artists have put together the 48-page Police Brutality Coloring Book.
Wired reports that the coloring book was created to draw attention to such action, especially since “[a coloring book] should be such a sweet, kid-friendly format, but when you’re dealing with a subject as serious as police brutality, the irony sort of heightens the effect,” said Shepard Fairey, the graphic designer known for creating President Obama’s “Hope” poster.
Wired has more on the coloring book and the sentiments behind it:
“I wasn’t directly involved with the movement, but I had been down there a few times and was sympathetic to the cause,” said Police Brutality Coloring Book creator Joe “Heaps” Nelson in an interview with Wired.com. Then it turned out that Chelsea Elliott, one of four women pepper-sprayed during a Sep. 24 protest march in Manhattan, was a friend of a friend of the New York artist.
The incident, and others like it, spurred Nelson into action. “I am outraged at how the police are treating people,” he said, “and moral outrage is not my default setting. And then when I saw that guy at Cal Davis [University of California at Davis campus police Lt. John Pike] calmly spray those kids in the face, I knew I had to do something.”
“I’ve met cops that were really decent people,” said Fairey, “but they’ve been desensitized because their job is to interact with people who break the law all day; they’ve really lost perspective. Police on a regular basis abuse their authority, because they can get away with it — they have no one to answer to. It’s so much more horrifically pervasive than you would imagine.”
Wired reports that the coloring book was sold in Miami for $10 a pop at art fairs.
This isn’t the first coloring book created this year covering a mature topic; a 9/11 coloring book was developed by Really Big Coloring Books Inc. in August.
Find more drawings from the Police Brutality Coloring Book here.