Retired Rhode Island police officer Tony Lepore, known for the famous dance moves he’d perform while directing holiday traffic in Providence, R.I. found out this year that he was not wanted there anymore. It wasn’t the people of Providence who pushed him out, but the police department who knelt and cowered before the threat of the #BlackLivesMatter movement protesting them.
It all started when Lepore’s old friend and active police officer got a cup of coffee at Dunkin Donuts. On the cup, one of the employees had scrawled “#BlackLivesMatter.”
Some of the local police were justifiably upset by the action and protested. Lepore not only joined them, he led the protest, and that’s what cost him the gig.
“I just want people out there to support their police department. I was a policeman for seventeen years and I know how tough this job is,” LePore reportedly said, “I think this group targeted coffee shops because they know that police are out there eight hours and that they love coffee.”
According to the Providence Journal, Public Safety Commissioner Steven M. Paré terminated their agreement with LePore because of what he said.
“Recent statements made by Mr. Lepore gave the inaccurate impression that he represented the position of the Providence Police Department. Mr. Lepore was not authorized to speak on behalf of the Providence Police Department and his actions were, in my judgement, a disservice to the Department and to members of the Providence Community.”
Where did he claim to represent the local police department? And what, exactly, was a disservice to it?
The answers are: No where and nothing.
The AP reports that LePore was told “community groups were upset about the protest” and that he wouldn’t be rehired. He called it “very simple politics.”
Indeed, and very basic Alinsky tactics displayed by the #BlackLivesMatter crowd.
Rule #9: The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
Is there any doubt these “community groups” contacted the police department after they learned LePore led the protest and threatened them with protests of their own? Not in any rational person’s mind.
And that’s when Commissioner Paré’s imagination was left to its own devices, to dream up all the worst possible scenarios. Imagine Providence in flames like Ferguson, Missouri.
Now you get an idea of why LePore had to go. Not because there was a threat of that happening, but because Rule #9 is very powerful.
So to justify it, they come up with the excuse that LePore tried to represent the police department, when everyone who read the story or heard the news could clearly see he’s a famous retired cop, not a representative of the Providence PD.
And like moths to a flame, the #BlackLivesMatter protesters showed up at a scheduled appearance, according to ABC 7. LePore wasn’t there because he was told by Mayor Thomas Rose there were planned protests. LePore wrote on his Facebook page that he decided against attending out of concern fore the safety of the children and their families. He’s still planning on doing his routine outside City Hall this month.
“Believe me, I am not backing down to them,” he claimed.
This is the state of things in America right now. Fear of a thing is dictating the decisions of politicians rather than rational thought. Alinsky tactics are being used to shut down free speech.
Dare to speak against the collective? You get fired because you’re less of a threat than the hive-minded protesters who could be seen creating a wave of destruction across the city.
At one time, the rights of the people to say “I just want people out there to support their police department” were sacred and defended. Now, they are expendable because it’s convenient.
Finally, consider the chilling effect this has across the country. Not everyone has the courage of LePore to take a stand, knowing there will be considerable blowback. Many are content to be mousy and safe. Seeing how people are treated and the reaction to how protesters are coddled will empower the #BlackLiveMatter crowd to demand more, while encouraging others to keep their mouths shut because they see they will be alone in the fight.
Regardless of ideology, the right to speak your mind freely should be held as invaluable. Decisions that silence people and disempower others to speak freely should not be made out of a fear that doing otherwise would result in protests or violence.
Actions should be taken that promote the idea of free speech and discourage the unlawful use of force in an attempt to violate those rights.
*UPDATE* Apparently, the harassment isn’t waning. LePore just posted this on his Facebook:
To all my friends, after today at 6pm I`m closing my face book page. I have many friends that I know are my friends. and others that I don`t know. I will still have my Bullying Stop Here With Tony The Dancing Cop, Rhode Island Dancing Cop, & my Citizens4Police Page. I will reopen it in the near future, and I will install the necessary filters, and be more selective who I friend. If anyone wants to contact me for a performance go to my Rhode Island Dancing Cop. Have a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year.
What do you think? Sound off in the comments.