NO to Tony Lepore the Dancing Cop; YES to community respect and unity.
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To the Newport St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee,
We hope you are aware of the openly racist and inherently offensive comments posted publicly by Tony Lepore, aka “The RI Dancing Cop” whom you’ve invited to participate in the 2018 Newport St. Patrick’s Day Parade, upcoming on Saturday, March 17th. Mr. Lepore has gained local and national attention for his controversial, combative and racist public statements; his actions do not represent the values of the Newport community.
Just three examples from many:
Here is the exact language he posted on his Twitter account referring to immigrants: “They are not of our culture. They have several wives they rape without repercussions.”
He organized a boycott and tried to get a young African American employee fired from Dunkin Donuts for writing “Black Lives Matter” on a coffee cup.
Lepore said, “Why don’t you go into the ghetto and help those people,” on the John DePetro show on WPRO. “They are killing each other.”
Other municipalities, including South Kingstown, Providence and East Providence, have decided not to employ Mr. Lepore. We want Newport, too, to stand for community unity and against racial injustice. Mr. Lepore’s participation in the parade normalizes xenophobia and racism. He does not represent the values of our community, and we doubt he represents your values.
We’ve included three articles – two local, one national – that describe Mr. Lepore’s reputation, in case the additional reading is helpful for your understanding of the situation. We have also included an article from the American Psychological Association about racial trauma.
We hope you agree that it is not appropriate for a person with Mr. Lepore’s history and reputation to participate in the St. Patrick's Day Parade. We don’t want him performing in Newport and we hope you see fit to take action. Let's make our City's events inclusive of all community members.
"‘Dancing Cop’ disinvited from second Rhode Island city after flak over his stance against Black Lives Matter"
“RI’s Fired Dancing Cop Finds Himself at the Intersection of Race Debate”
“Dancing Cop’s White Christmas Dreams Dashed in East Providence”
"Racial Trauma is Real: The Impact of Police Shootings on African Americans"
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