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Cop Who Played 'Sweet Home Alabama' At Protest Will Be Suspended

By Chuck Sudo in News on Dec 12, 2014 3:10PM

Image credit: Gabriel X. Michael/YouTube screengrab.

The police officer who thought it was a brilliant idea to blast Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" from the PA system of his squad car during a "Black Lives Matter" protest in Garfield Park last weekend will be suspended for 10 days, sources within the Chicago Police Department told the Tribune.

The officer said in a statement released by CPD he played the song because he was supporting the University of Alabama, which was playing Missouri in the SEC championship game last Saturday. (Roll Tide, just not while you're rolling behind a march protesting police killing unarmed black men.) As far as excuses go this one is as plausible as "I thought he had a gun."

CPD said in the statement it is committed to "ensuring residents' right to free speech and peaceful assembly" and that it "fully understands sensitivities related to the song and, regardless, we cannot condone any behavior that may be viewed as disruptive or disrespectful to any protester or resident."

Cop blogger Second City Cop intimated the quick punishment violated the officer's right to due process.

Juvenile? Ill-timed? Misuse of Department property? All viable accusations. Violating First Amendment rights? Not even close. Racist? Not if you ask the guys who wrote and performed the song.

And all wrapped up in five days? That must be some sort of Christmas miracle. Was anyone even served with papers? Upon service, you have 72 hours to respond...that's three days right there. Closing paperwork? Command Channel Review? Sounds like a railroad job to us.