Frog and Toad's Fuck the Police



Frog and Toad's Fuck the Police


Dinkytown Greenway, Minneapolis, MN, USA


A sticker showing classic children's book characters Frog and Toad out for a pleasant bike ride. Text below them reads "Fuck the Police."


The sticker shows an illustration from the Frog and Toad series of children’s books, written and illustrated by Arnold Lobel. The book series catalogs the friendship of the two titular characters, Frog and Toad. The specific illustration is taken from the 1972 book Frog and Toad Together, which was published by Harper & Row. Unlike the original cover of the book, the illustration on the sticker is not fully colored. It is rendered solely in a blue-green color.

The characters are on a two-seater bicycle, one sitting behind the other. They are cycling through a green meadow, which contrasts the text underneath. The text, in bubble letters and all caps, reads: “FUCK THE POLICE”. The sticker seems to be placed high on the pole, which draws the eye to it more than a sticker at eye level.

While the sticker was placed in response to the killing of George Floyd, the saying “Fuck the Police” has been around for much longer. It was famously used in the song “Fuck Tha Police” by N.W.A., a hip-hop group from Compton, California. The song was released in 1988, more than 30 years before the George Floyd protests and this sticker’s placement. The song and album were censored by politicians, which ironically, led to the song’s underground popularity.

Interestingly enough, the characters of Frog and Toad have connections to police abolition. The image used on the sticker is similar to a photoshopped image originally posted on the social media site Reddit, in 2010. The image rose to prominence in 2019, after a mother ordered a shirt for her daughter from an online retailer. The online listing did not have the text underneath, but when the shirt arrived, the phrase was listed underneath the illustration. According to a Buzzfeed interview with the mother, after she posted the image to Facebook, it went viral.

In addition to that, Arnold Lobel, the author, and illustrator of the Frog and Toad series was a gay man who died in 1987. He also lived with the effects of AIDS for some time. His daughter, Anita Lobel, stated in an interview with The New Yorker that the Frog and Toad series represented her father’s coming out journey. In a historical context, the LGBT community’s relationship with the police has not been amicable. Because sexual activity between members of the same sex was criminalized well into the 20th century, there were frequent crackdowns by police on parties and establishments that served members of the LGBT community. This led to many altercations, the most famous being the Stonewall uprising. The uprising culminated in 6 days of protests, where many protesters were beaten and arrested. While not the same as the George Floyd protests, the protesters at the Stonewall uprising championed many of the same issues that were foundational to those protests.

Chen, Tanya. “A Mom Ordered A Cute Shirt For Her 3-Year-Old From A Retailer Based In China But It Came With A, Uh, Unique Addition.” BuzzFeed News, BuzzFeed News, 22 June 2019,

Goldstein, Rich. “A Brief History of the Phrase 'F*Ck the Police'.” The Daily Beast, The Daily Beast Company, 23 Aug. 2014, Editors. “Stonewall Riots.”, A&E Television Networks, 31 May 2017,

RocketRobinhood. “r/Pics - Indeed, Fuck 'Em.” Reddit, Reddit, 29 Sept. 2010, 10:39 p.m.,

Stokes, Colin. “‘Frog and Toad’: An Amphibious Celebration of Same-Sex Love.” The New Yorker, Condé Nast, 31 May 2016,

Contextual information provided by Owen Larson (February 2021)


Photograph by Sally Pemberton


Urban Art Mapping Research Project








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