Little did people realize back in October that an incident involving a Dunkin’ Donuts employee giving a Providence, R.I., police officer a cup with #BlackLivesMatter written on it would result in bringing to an end the services of the “Dancing Cop.”
For 30 years, now-retired Officer Tony Lepore has entertained holiday crowds with his dance moves as he directed traffic in Rhode Island’s capital city, according to News 10 WJAR.
But he will dance no more following a meeting with the police chief and the public safety commissioner.
“People from all over Providence – they can’t believe it. They can’t believe it,” Lepore told News 10. “They had plans to bring their kids down.”
What was his offense?
In support of his fellow officers, Lepore called for a boycott of the Dunkin’ Donuts store involved in the October incident. In announcing the boycott, he was critical of the Black Lives Matter movement, calling it “a radical organization with no rhyme or reason.”
According to Commissioner of Public Safety Steven Pare, Lepore’s actions strained police relations with minority community leaders, News 10 reported.
“It appeared to the community that he was representing the Providence Police Department, and what he was saying was not reflective of this department,” said Pare.
A Change.org petition was launched calling on the city to “discontinue the use of Mr. Lepore as a traffic cop this holiday season” — it has a whopping 463 signatures as of this writing.
A community leader told News 10 that canning LePore was a powerful statement by Providence police.
“No one disliked the dancing cop. No one disliked what he did for our city,” said Kobi Dennis. “What we disliked is that he tried to take a situation that was already inflamed and he tried to make it worse.”
Odd, but it would seem that’s right up the alley of the Black Lives Matter movement.
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