'Sweet Home Alabama' Gets Cop in Trouble at Chicago Protest

Officer played song at demonstration against police tactics
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 13, 2014 2:10 PM CST
'Sweet Home Alabama' Gets Cop in Trouble at Chicago Protest
Guitarists Rickey Medlocke, left, and Gary Rossington, of the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, of "Sweet Home Alabama" fame.   (AP Photo/The News-Item, Larry Deklinski)

The Chicago Police Department says it will discipline an officer who played "Sweet Home Alabama" over a police-cruiser loudspeaker during a march protesting police treatment of African Americans. The song is considered an anthem to Southern pride. Some interpreted his playing of the song during last week's march as racially insensitive.

The department didn't identify the officer or say how he'll be disciplined. The department says in a statement that the officer maintained he played the song because he is a University of Alabama fan. But the department says it can't condone an act considered "disruptive or disrespectful" to protesters or residents. Saturday's march was one of many in response to decisions in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York, not to prosecute white police officers in the deaths of unarmed blacks. (More Chicago police stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.