PROGRAMMING NOTE: BLACKHAWKS GAME PREEMPTS WGN NEWS AT NINE

Rhode Island’s ‘Dancing Cop’ under criticism for Black Lives Matter protest

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A former Rhode Island patrolman says he has been hired to perform his annual dancing routine for traffic during the holiday season after he was banished from his previous job.

According to the Providence Journal, Tony Lepore, who became a sensation as Providence, R.I.’s “Dancing Cop,” performing choreographed moves while directing traffic, was told he would not be able to work in the city as a result of his organized protest against a Dunkin’ Donuts that wrote “Black Lives Matter” on a coffee cup.

Lepore told the Journal he was later hired by East Providence to perform his routine during the holidays. He will be paid $2,000.

In October an employee at a Dunkin’ Donuts in Federal Hill, R.I. wrote “Black Lives Matter” on a coffee cup for another police officer. Lepore encouraged his Facebook followers to protest the store.

Lepore told the Journal he does not regret his remarks, in which he criticized the movement as “terrible.”

“I’m not against Black Lives Matter, as a whole,” he said Sunday. “Just the people in that group some advocate harm to the police officers.”

Added Lepore: “Black lives matter to me, too. So does everybody’s life.”