More than two dozen protesters attended a scheduled appearance of a retired Providence police officer known as the "Dancing Cop," but the ex-officer himself did not show.

Tony Lepore has been drawing heat after he protested outside a Providence coffee shop because an employee wrote "#blacklivesmatter" on an officer's cup. Lepore asked that the employee be fired.

In response, Providence officials let him go from his decades-long gig directing holiday traffic with exaggerated dance moves.

Lepore says he has since been hired to direct traffic in neighboring East Providence. He says he did not attend a Christmas celebration there on Sunday after the mayor told him about the planned protests.

The city council plans to vote Tuesday on his hiring.