Some People Are Saying That Rihanna Was Banned from Playing a Free Concert in Baltimore Amid Freddie Gray Riots
Leaked emails from the Baltimore Police department reveal that Rihanna was denied from hosting a free concert in the wake of city riots.
An outlined proposal from Rihanna’s representative to Baltimore’s media relations officer Eric Kowalczyk shows that the R&B star wanted to walk with protesters in addition to giving a free performance. The email stated that she would arrive by plane and travel to the city by car or train “in an effort to divert press/media”.
“[Rihanna’s representative] stated that they had hoped to secure some extra police security and was directed by the Governor’s office to seek assistance through Communications,” reports the Baltimore Sun.
The email was passed through a series of hands without any avail before being mentioned in a situation report dated May. “Possible Rihanna Concert at Penn & North,” the report read. “No time given. Police are claiming they have no permit so it will not be allowed.”
Rihanna was one of the many public figures who expressed distress on social media over death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African-American male who died of a severe spinal injury one week after being arrested by police. Riots emerged following the homicide to bring attention to “police mistreatment of black men” in cases like Gray’s and the shooting in Ferguson of Michael Brown.
Rihanna’s representative has not released any further commentary on the alleged email exchange.