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Providence's dancing cop says he was fired for leading 'blacklivesmatter' coffee cup protest

  • FILE - In this Dec. 13, 2012 photo, former Providence Police Department office Tony Lepore directs traffic at an intersection on Dorrance Street in Providence, R.I. Lepore said he was told by police officials Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, not to return to the city streets to direct traffic during the 2015 Christmas season, after organizing a protest over the appearance of a “blacklivesmatter” hashtag on a police officer’s coffee cup at a Rhode Island Dunkin’ Donuts. Lepore, a retired Providence police officer, became known nationally for injecting dance moves into his police work in 1984 while directing Providence traffic. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

    FILE - In this Dec. 13, 2012 photo, former Providence Police Department office Tony Lepore directs traffic at an intersection on Dorrance Street in Providence, R.I. Lepore said he was told by police officials Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, not to return to the city streets to direct traffic during the 2015 Christmas season, after organizing a protest over the appearance of a “blacklivesmatter” hashtag on a police officer’s coffee cup at a Rhode Island Dunkin’ Donuts. Lepore, a retired Providence police officer, became known nationally for injecting dance moves into his police work in 1984 while directing Providence traffic. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Dec. 13, 2012 photo, former Providence Police Department office Tony Lepore directs traffic at an intersection on Dorrance Street in Providence, R.I. Lepore said he was told by police officials Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, not to return to the city streets to direct traffic during the 2015 Christmas season, after organizing a protest over the appearance of a “blacklivesmatter” hashtag on a police officer’s coffee cup at a Rhode Island Dunkin’ Donuts. Lepore, a retired Providence police officer, became known nationally for injecting dance moves into his police work in 1984 while directing Providence traffic. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

    FILE - In this Dec. 13, 2012 photo, former Providence Police Department office Tony Lepore directs traffic at an intersection on Dorrance Street in Providence, R.I. Lepore said he was told by police officials Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, not to return to the city streets to direct traffic during the 2015 Christmas season, after organizing a protest over the appearance of a “blacklivesmatter” hashtag on a police officer’s coffee cup at a Rhode Island Dunkin’ Donuts. Lepore, a retired Providence police officer, became known nationally for injecting dance moves into his police work in 1984 while directing Providence traffic. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)  (The Associated Press)

Providence's dancing cop says he has been fired from directing holiday traffic for organizing a protest over the appearance of a "blacklivesmatter" hashtag on another police officer's coffee cup at a Rhode Island Dunkin' Donuts.

Tony Lepore led a small protest in October supporting the officer.

He says he was told by police officials he met with on Tuesday that community groups were upset and he wouldn't be rehired. The 68-year-old retired from Providence Police Department in 1989 and was then hired by the city to direct downtown traffic each holiday season. He's known for his dance moves and has appeared on national television shows.

Police Commissioner Steven Pare says Lepore gave the inaccurate impression he represented the department.

Lepore says his supporters are comparing the mayor to the Grinch.