Wednesday, July 29, 2015

NEW REPORT: Rihanna's Freddie Gray concert was blocked by Baltimore police

 

Apparently, Singer Rihanna was blocked by Baltimore police from playing a free concert for Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old African American man who was fatally injured by six police officers in April.

According to newly released emails between police and the singer’s representatives, obtained by the Baltimore Sun, Rihanna wanted to go to Baltimore in the week after race-related rioting broke out, to walk with protesters and perform a free concert.

In a message dated 1 May sent to Captain Eric Kowalczyk, the then head of media relations for Baltimore police, an officer detailed a conversation he had with a representative for the singer. He said the representative advised that Rihanna would arrive by plane and “in an effort to divert press/media she will be travelling to the city by train (or by car if necessary)”.

The officer added that the representative “had hoped to secure some extra police security and was directed by the governor’s office to seek assistance through communications”.

The email was forwarded to Anthony Batts, the then Baltimore police commissioner, and Kevin Harris, a spokesman for the mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

The possible concert was also mentioned in a situation report on 1 May, which revealed the location to be the intersection of Pennsylvania and West North avenues, the focal point of the protests. “Possible Rihanna Concert at Penn & North,” it read. “No time given. Police are claiming they have no permit so it will not be allowed.”

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