The Dancing Cop will dance no more.
The Providence Police decided on Tuesday to discontinue a 30-year old Providence tradition by not allowing the dancing cop, Tony Lepore, Sr., to perform his iconic dance moves whilst directing downtown traffic his holiday season. The controversial decision came following demands by community leaders to remove the now-retired officer from his post. Lepore became a political lightning rod when he began speaking out against the #BlackLivesMatter movement in Providence.
It was later uncovered by WBOB's Kevin Aherne that while Lepore was actively rallying for police to boycott Dunkin' Donuts for their role in the #BlackLivesMatter movement, he had failed to disclose his role as a spokesperson for Dunkin' competitor, Honey Dew Donuts.
Lepore responds with statement on Facebook
"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."