Amid cries of homophobia and calls for resignation, Robert Lucente, president of the New York State Chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, issued a public apology regarding comments he made June 12 about Bruce Springsteen. Lucente called Springsteen a "fucking dirtbag" and a "floating fag" upon hearing of the rocker's new song "American Skin (41 Shots)," which makes reference to the 1999 police shooting of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed West African Immigrant in the Bronx.
Springsteen gave the song a test run in Atlanta last week before bringing it to New York City, where he is currently in the middle of a ten-performance run at Madison Square Garden.
Lucente, a twenty-seven-year veteran with the New York City Police Department, addressed the concerns of the gay and lesbian community, which took offense at his "floating fag" comment: "Most police departments, including the New York City Police Department, have associations which include gay and lesbian groups. The New York State Fraternal Order of Police has a long-standing reputation of supporting those groups and individuals. I offer to those persons and their families my most sincere apologies for a comment made in anger over the many deaths of those in law enforcement."
While Lucente retracted his comments, he stopped just short of apologizing to Springsteen. "The statement was made out of disgust towards a public figure whom I once admired, not against someone's sexual preference," he said. "I wish that Mr. Springsteen would put his efforts and his notoriety towards healing wounds rather than fanning the fires of prejudice for profit. I would welcome Mr. Springsteen's efforts, as he has done in the past, to correct the problems that now exist by getting involved in programs designed to better educate our law enforcement and communities to face the tensions and fears that unfortunately exist in society today."
Written by ANDREW DANSBY for RollingStone.com News