Remember the "Dancing Cop" of Providence, Rhode Island?

Born on October 17, 1947, Tony Lepore grew up in the west end of Providence, the son of Italian immigrants. Lepore graduated from Mt. Pleasant High School, attended business school to learn about computers, and studied Administration Justice at Roger Williams University.

In 1968, Lepore joined the Army and spent three years in Vietnam. He told Florida Weekly, "I made it back, but I lost a friend there. He was one of my neighbors. He was in an infantry unit."

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Upon returning to Rhode Island in 1971, Lepore joined the Providence Police Department.

He said he "got a medal and a day off" for rescuing people following an explosion in Downtown Providence and a "medal of valor" for helping rescue two girls from a car that went off a bridge and landed upside down in the water.

Lepore was assigned traffic duty in 1984. He began to dance while directing traffic in downtown Providence to "ease the boredom."

His act was a hit.

In 1987, Lepore began wearing a Santa hat and handing out candy canes to kids while directing traffic during the Christmas season.

Why The Dancing Cop Of Providence, Rhode Island Was Fired
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When he retired in 1992, Providence officials asked him to return for the holiday season. He continued the practice until his dismissal in 2015 for organizing an anti-Black Lives Matter protest.

According to WJAR, Lepore "courted controversy" in October 2015.

"He called on a boycott of a Dunkin' Donuts store when another officer was served a cup of coffee with #BlackLivesMatter written on it," the station reported.

Police officials said Lepore's protest damaged relations between the community and the police department. Lepore was dismissed.

Lepore's dancing made him a minor national celebrity. In 2019, he and his wife Donna retired to Port Charlotte, Florida.

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