Baltimore Police Didn’t Allow Rihanna Permit for Free Concert, Walking with Protestors

Jul 30, 2015

Prince wasn’t the only one who wanted to perform for Baltimore in the wake of Freddie Gray’s murder and the subsequent protests.

According to e-mails released on Monday between a Baltimore police officer and Capt. Eric Kowalczyk, the then-head of the department’s media relations branch, Rihanna reached out to the department about the possibility of holding a free concert and marching alongside protesters. 

In a message dated May 1st to Kowalczyk, the officer described a conversation he had with one of Rihanna’s representatives. The officer said that the representative "advised that Rihanna wants to walk with the protesters as well as perform a free concert." The singer was set to fly in and, to divert media attention, travel into Baltimore by train or car; seeking additional security, her team was directed by the Governor’s office to the department’s PR/communications branch. 

The anticipated concert was featured in an additional situation report, which suggests that police would not allow the show: 

"Possible Rihanna Concert at Penn & North…No time given. Police are claiming they have no permit so it will not be allowed."

The information released does not indicate whether or not there was an intentional grounding of Rihanna’s request in order to stop the concert. 

(H/t The Baltimore Sun