(CBS) – A Chicago police officer will be disciplined after admitting he played a rock song with race-baiting connotations alongside a “Black Lives Matter” march over the weekend.
The unidentified officer said he played Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” loudly in his squad car Sunday because he was a fan of the University of Alabama, according to a statement from the Chicago Police Department. Alabama played over the weekend.
A video posted on YouTube shows an unmarked police car cruising alongside demonstrators, blasting the tune loud enough to hear from the sidewalk. Some protesters consider the way the song was played a dig at the African-American community because “Sweet Home Alabama” can be viewed as an anthem to the Confederate South.
“CPD fully understands sensitivities related to the song and … we cannot condone any behavior that may be viewed as disruptive or disrespectful to any protestor or resident,” the Chicago Police Department said in its statement Monday. “To the contrary, as you have seen over the past couple weeks, CPD is dedicated to ensuring residents’ right to free speech and peaceful assembly.”
Several churches across the city organized peaceful protests and marches Sunday in response to grand-jury decisions in other parts of the country that effectively exonerated white police officers who had fatal confrontations with unarmed black men. The YouTube video documented a section of protesters on Chicago’s West Side.
Specifics about the officer’s discipline were not disclosed.