Officers are being urged not to to work at the star's gig in New York tonight...

Bruce Springsteen has been branded a “fucking dirtbag” by a US police chief, and officers are being urged not to work at SPRINGSTEEN and THE E STREET BAND‘s gig at NEW YORK MADISON SQUARE GARDEN tonight (June 12).

The controversy erupted over the song ‘American Skin’, subtitled ’41 Shots’, which was debuted by the band at a concert last week. It relates to the death in February 1999 of a man in the Bronx who was shot 41 times after police said they mistook his wallet for a gun. The officers were acquitted.

According to US website [url=]www.sonicnet.com, president of the New York chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, Bob Lucente, slammed Springsteen for the track, saying: “He’s turned into some type of fucking dirtbag. He goes on the boycott list. He has all these good songs and everything, American flag-waving songs and all that stuff, and now he’s a floating fag.”

President of New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Organisation, Patrick Lynch sent a letter to officers calling on them not to work at the band’s New York shows. In it he wrote: “I consider it an outrage that [Springsteen] would be trying to fatten his wallet by reopening the wounds of a tragic case at a time when police officers and community members are in a healing period.”

The family of the murdered man, Amadou Diallo, told New York Daily News that they welcomed anything that kept his memory alive. Public Enemy wrote the song ’41:19′ about the incident last year, and an all-star hip-hop EP, featuring Mos Def, Rah Digga and Kool G Rap, was released which included the tribute track ‘One Four Love’.