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UPDATE: Police shut down impromptu Switchfoot concert in Tampa

16

August

The most noteworthy thing about Sunday's Goo Goo Dolls/Switchfoot concert at the 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre in Tampa actually may not have taken place during the concert itself.

According to CNN.com, after the show, Switchfoot singer Jon Foreman was performing a secret acoustic show for Twitter followers outside the Amp. In the above clip, the Christian modern rocker can be seen performing a new song, Against The Voices, and is about to go into the intro to Come Home, when an off-duty Hillsborough County Sheriff's Deputy named William Fisher attempts to pull the plug.

"Let's go, let's go, that was it, that was it," Fisher says. "I let you go to your last song. Let's go..."

"Officer," Foreman says, "can we play one more song?"

 "I let you play the last song, that was it."

 "But you didn't tell us. I mean, we'll play one last song ... "

"I told you four minutes ago."

"You didn't tell me."

Spurred on by the crowd, Foreman then plays the intro to the Switchfoot hit Twenty Four. And at that point, the officer sounds like he's had enough.

"Sir -- I’m going to call you sir because I can give you respect -- now you need to give me respect," the cop says. "Now I already said, let’s go. ... I already said, let’s go. Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go ... I have a family to go home to, okay? Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go, it’s over, it’s over. Come on. Let’s go. It’s over. It’s over. ... I tell you what, if I call somebody over here, we will be forcing you out. Now what do you want to do?"

Foreman later tweeted about the incident ("Just got forcefully removed from my aftershow by the police... Officer Fisher grabbed me by the arm and shut us down."), then contacted CNN.com with his version of events:

Over the years, I've had a few policeman shut these after-shows down. Maybe they are nervous because these types of gatherings are unusual. ... The officer last night wouldn't give me a reason for shutting it down, he only said that he had a family to go home to.

All security at the Amp is handled by off-duty Hillsborough County Sheriff's Officers. Sheriff's spokesman J.D. Callaway said Monday that neither Foreman nor concert promoters had notified security of Foreman's solo performance. "Dep. Fisher had no idea who it was strumming the guitar," Callaway said.

Callaway said the department had reviewed the video and talked to Fisher, and concluded he followed proper procedure. "He used restraint, he was courteous, he was respectful, and he did his job," Callaway said.

Predictably, YouTube commenters are siding with Foreman, who seems to be taking this incident maybe a little too seriously. (Via his twitter: "still not sure what the laws are against singing in light of the 1st amendment. We were 'peaceably assembled'- thoughts?" Really, Jon? You're playing the Freedom of Speech card here?)

We can understand Foreman and his fans being disappointed about the show getting cut short, but in the video, it does seem like the officer gave Foreman an opportunity to end the show peacefully, with his head held high -- an opportunity that Foreman seemingly disregards.

What do you guys think? Were any of you present at the scene? Whose side are you on?

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt* 

[Last modified: Monday, August 16, 2010 4:34pm]

    

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