Chicago officer disciplined after playing ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ during protest

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A Chicago police officer will get a 10-day suspension for blaring the song "Sweet Home Alabama" from his squad car radio while escorting protesters on the West Side Saturday.

The demonstrators in Garfield Park were marching against police violence.

Critics say the 1974 song has been used by some bigoted groups as an anthem of southern pride with confederate-type values.

The officer in question said he was just supporting his football team from the University of Alabama in its conference championship game.

Alabama won the game.

CPD released a statement saying in part, “While he says he was playing the music as fan of the University of Alabama, CPD fully understands sensitivities related to the song and regardless we cannot condone any behavior that may be viewed as disruptive or disrespectful to any protestor or resident.”

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26 comments

    • Southsider

      What does the constitution have anything to do with this. He didn’t get convicted or arrested. He was disciplined by his job. You just wanted to say something huh? If you believe that then today go to your job and cuss at everybody then yell I have freedom of speech. My grandparents were right common sense is not so common.

  • mimma

    Why would anyone want to be a cop these days? Every breath, every word, and every step is scrutinized by the public and the media. NBA players can wear what ever they want onto the court -“I can’t breathe” – but a cop can’t play a song of his/her choice. I guess freedom of speech only is a right afforded to liberal, thugs, and criminals. Good luck, citizens of Chicago and the rest of the country. Maybe, respect for authority and the law will seem like a good idea when our streets turn into the Wild West because cops aren’t going to serve and protect a bunch of unappreciative citizens.

  • ksr

    Now a top song is illegal to play but the rap stars who made it on songs to kill police have their own show like Queen Latifah what a world we live in .I hope the FOP will stand by the officer.

  • The List

    Top Five Albums
    1) PF-Dark Side of the Moon
    2) ACDC-Back in Black
    3) Bowie- Scary Monsters
    4) Springsteen and the E Street Shuffle
    5) GNR- Appetite for Destruction
    All neighborhood fav’s in Garfield Park.

  • Ex chgo resident

    That cong consists of something like three chords! Lord. Ever since I was a kid I KNEW not to blast southern anything, anywhere. Personally, I’d rather listen to something with more intelligence!

    • DaleC

      Then don’t listen to your own posts.

      Read those lyrics, or others about guns and drugs or society, and you will understand that Skynyrd was progressive minded.

  • Ex chgo resident

    That song consists of something like three chords! Lord. Ever since I was a kid I KNEW not to blast southern anything, anywhere. Personally, I’d rather listen to something with more intelligence!

  • Armando Ortiz

    This is for Brian whoever the fuck you are people are protesting for the rights that been repeatedly violated in our Minority Communities and I wish your white ass would come to any west side neighborhood any try to beat anyone’s actual ass. The real criminals and biggest thrives are you and yours. DEVILS!

  • DaleC

    To everyone posting about “freedom of speech” or “Constitution” or “First Amendment” – none of those protect your speech at work from your employer. The Constitution protects you from the government, not your employer, even if your employer is the government.

  • Corbin

    But it’s a ok to play that Crap Rap music really loud with there kids in the back seat while the driver smokes weed and the words to the rap degrades women, where is the Justice there?