Smear Campaign Against The Dancing Cop Leads To Disinvitation From Firefighter Parade
Dancing Cop Accused Of White Supremacy For Supporting Police
South Kingston, RI – Retired Police Officer Tony Lepore, known as “The Dancing Cop”, will not be performing at this year’s Firefighter Parade because of backlash for his public support for police officers.
Lepore has performed at the South Kingstown Fire Fighters Relief Association parade in the past but was disinvited this year because of a smear campaign from South Kingstown resident Amber Collins, according to The Westerly Sun.
In 2015, Lepore organized a small protest outside a Dunkin’ Donuts (DD) in response to a Providence police officer being given his coffee by a DD employee, with the words ‘Black Lives Matter’ written on the cup.
A month later, he was fired from his annual job directing traffic in the city, according to The Washington Post, which he said was a direct result of his protest.
In response to the incident at DD, Lepore said, “I just want people out there to support their police department. I was a policeman for 17 years and I know how tough this job is. I think this group [Black Lives Matter] targeted coffee shops because they know that police are out there eight hours and that they love coffee.”
Lepore has been known for years as “The Dancing Cop”, and has been dancing on the streets that he patrolled since 1984. Now retired, the 69-year-old is still dancing and supporting cops.
He said this latest ‘disinvitation’ is the direct result of his support for police officers and his criticism of Black Lives Matter.
On Thursday, November 7, he said, “I stuck up for a police officer. That’s it,” according to Firehouse.
Amber Collins, who said she is studying to be a minister, launched a social media campaign against Lepore, and called him a racist and white supremacist.
Collins created a petition on July 28, addressed to the South Kingstown Firefighters Relief Association, on change.org. The petition was against Lepore participating in the parade, and 536 people have signed it. In the petition, Collins said:
“We ask that you remove Tony LePore, “The Dancing Cop”, from this year’s South Kingstown Firefighter’s Memorial Parade. Mr. LePore has gained local and national attention for his controversial, combative and racist public statements; his actions do not represent the values of the South Kingstown community nor do they reflect the bravery of our firefighters.
Be assured, South Kingstown would not be the first to remove Mr. LePore from public functions. Due to his controversy, other municipalities, including Providence and East Providence, have decided not to employ Mr. LePore…We have also included an article from the American Psychological Association about racial trauma.”
Collins had included links to three articles where Lepore had been disinvited to events after the Dunkin Donuts incident.
None of those articles indicate that he is a racist or a white supremacist; in his own words, Lepore said he just wanted “to make sure all police officers were treated like police officers, not like dirt,” according to The New York Post.
On Thursday, she said, “I understand that I have privilege. I will use that privilege to stand up against white supremacy.”
Nathan Street, the president for the Firemen’s Association, said parade organizers voted in August to disinvite Lepore to the September 24 parade. The reason that he gave was “to avoid potential disruptions that could pose a risk to public safety.”
Lepore said that he has already been booked on the firefighter parade date at an event in Massachusetts.
Do you think that it’s cowardly for the parade organizers to disinvite Lepore? We’d like to hear from you. Please let us know in the comments.
You can see the “dancing cop” traffic control in the video below: