An Official Apology After Springfield Police Wrongly Try To Shut Down Indie Soul Music Festival

Sep 1, 2021

Mayor Domenic Sarno and Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood in Springfield, Massachusetts, have apologized to organizers of a recent music festival in the city for any "miscommunication" that led police to try and shut it down.

The Indie Soul Festival took place at Riverfront Park on August 21. Most of the festival-goers were Black. According to a Facebook post, including a video, from event organizer Darryl Moss, Springfield police showed up around 8 p.m. and tried to shut down the annual event 90 minutes earlier than stipulated in a permit.

In a letter sent this week (PDF), Sarno said both he and Clapprood were sorry the event was disrupted. And they said any "non-respectful interaction by our officers is of paramount concern."

Over the past year, some activists and residents have called for Clapprood to be fired, citing racism in the police department.

Festival organizer Moss, who couldn't be reached for comment, was a longtime community liaison for Sarno, and was fired last year.