A song celebrating the death of Michael Brown was performed during a charity event in Glendale, California, which was attended by former and current police officials, TMZ reported. The event was reportedly organized by retired LAPD Officer Joe Myers, who left the force in 2007.
The incident reportedly took place last week where singer Gary Fishell, a member of Elks Lodge, performed a parody of the song, “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown.” According to TMZ, Fishell, who once worked as an investigator for the federal government, changed the words in his songs. The event, which was attended by nearly 60 people, mostly comprised of retired police officers, TMZ reported.
“Michael Brown learned a lesson… he's bad, bad Michael Brown, Baddest thug in the whole damn town, Badder than old King Kong, Meaner than a junkyard dog,” TMZ, which obtained a video from the event, reported were the song's lyrics.
Brown, an 18-year-old unarmed black teen, was shot by white police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Missouri. The fatal shooting triggered days of unrest in the St. Louis suburb, while protests spread across the United States after a grand jury decided last month not to indict Wilson.
Fishell’s lawyer told TMZ that the singer realized that the song was "off color and in poor taste."
According to TMZ, the video was taped by someone at the event who was offended by the song. The Glendale Elks Lodge has reportedly launched an investigation into the incident and said that the dinner was not organized by the club, but by Myers, who is a member.
"How can I dictate what he [Fishell] says in a song?" Myers told TMZ. "This is America. We can say what we want. This is a free America." Myers added that he has been organizing the event annually for decades and, through it, has raised a lot of money for charity.
A trustee for the lodge told TMZ: "It's deplorable and inappropriate and the Lodge will take disciplinary action against [Fishell] and possibly the people who organized this event,” adding: "We don't stand for any racist things like this."