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Providence’s Dancing Cop Denied Holiday Work Over #BlackLivesMatter Comments

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Photo: Jef Nickerson

Providence's Dancing Cop has been denied the chance to dance this season by the City of Providence, following his outspoken comments after a Dunkin' Donuts worker wrote "BlackLivesMatter" on a police officer's cup. 

Retired Providence Police officer Tony Lepore, Sr, who usually "dances" during the holiday season in the city, provided the following message on his Facebook page today after meeting with the City. 

Statement from Lepore:

I had a meeting with the Police Commission and the Chief today at 11am. They degraded all the work I did for the street cops, and the work I did for the city for 30 yrs. They said it didn`t matter. Their concern wasn`t about the street cop they were concerned about the the community leaders. They said their phones rang off the hooks the week of the boycott. It was of course the politicial community leaders. Our petition meant nothing. I told them both that they would get backlash from this, and they said they`re ready. Some people are political puppets. The don`t care about the men in the street. They care about the political agenda. This is the difference between men and mice. They had a nerve to ask me to turn in my uniforms which I have always paid for. I don`t want to have anything to do with the Providence Police Patch. I will design my own, and I hope the people of R. I. will stand behind so that I can continue serving the community as a performer. I will stand behind my actions, and I would do it again. It`s about the men in the street not the puppets.

Origin of Debate

On October 4, GoLocalProv broke the story that a Dunkin' Donuts worker wrote "BlackLivesMatter" on a Providence Police officer's cup on Federal Hill. 

On October 6, Lepore called for a boycott of Dunkin' Donuts, issuing the following statement:

"This is a serious matter, because of the recent killings of police officers, and agitators from the "Black Lives Matter" group. As far as I`m concerned, they are the catalysts.  It`s not an organization of black against whites or police officers. To me it`s a radical organization with no rhyme or reason.  All lives matter, and our good citizen`s line of defense is their local police. Without them, there would be nothing but chaos," continued Lepore. "So, from this day on, I and many of my followers on social media are making a stand.  We are boycotting Dunkin' Donuts until this person or person`s responsible are fired for their actions."

A petition had been started a week later in support of Lepore, which has over 2,700 signatures. 

A Change.org petition was started the same week opposed to Lepore's reinstatement, which has just over 450 signatures. 

EDITOR'S NOTE: This Article was originally published at 12:46 pm on November 24, 2015.


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