*The drama over Beyoncé’s performance during the Super Bowl 50 halftime show continues to occupy news space as a police union in Miami voted in favor of calling on all police offices to boycott the singer’s April 26 concert in the city.
The Huffington Post reports the boycott is motivated by claims of Beyoncé’s promoting an anti-police message in her latest music video for the song “Formation” as well as her performance of the new tune at the Super Bowl halftime show.
In a press release he wrote, Javier Ortiz, president of Miami Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #20, stated that he didn’t watch Beyoncé’s halftime performance “out of respect for our profession.” The performance , which paid tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party, has come under fire from critics who viewed it as anti-police.
“The Miami Fraternal Order of Police has voted to have all law enforcement officers boycott Beyoncé’s concert which is being held at the Miami Marlins Stadium on Wednesday, April 26, 2016,” Ortiz said in a statement. “The fact that Beyoncé used this year’s Super Bowl to divide Americans by promoting the Black Panthers and her antipolice message shows how she does not support law enforcement.” The organization urged other law enforcement agencies around the country to do the same.
Ortiz goes on to mention that he had “mistakenly” seen the “Formation” video, which features an African-American boy dancing in front of police in riot gear as well as Beyoncé sitting on top of a sinking New Orleans police car and graffiti that reads “Stop shooting us.”
Commenting on its boycott, Ortiz voiced in an email to the Post that the union was urging officers not to work the concert. Along with the email, Ortiz sent HuffPost a meme featuring Beyoncé and her husband, Jay Z.in an effort to highlight that the entertainer was being hypocritical in light of the fact that she has received a police detail in the past.
Despite the union’s boycott, Miami Police Department spokesman Maj. Delrish Moss countered Ortiz and the Fraternal Order of Police, saying that they did not speak for the police department or the city of Miami. With that he emphasized that the venue where Beyoncé is scheduled to perform, Marlins Park, would be protected when she comes to town.
“Right now the union president has his First Amendment right to say whatever he wants to say, but that doesn’t always translate to reality. As far as we see, there’s no indication that anything that is said there will translate into police officers not working the job,” Moss said told the Post.
Despite a report from Fox 13 on Wednesday (Feb. 17) about no Tampa, Fla. police officers signing up to staff Beyoncé’s concert in that city, Tampa Police spokesman Steve Hegarty told HuffPost on Thursday (Feb. 18) that officers have signed up for the event, which he said would be fully staffed.
News of the MDPD’s boycott is the latest in a backlash that came after Beyoncé’s halftime performance. In addition to criticism from former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a Tennessee police sheriff said earlier this week that Beyoncé was responsible for the six gunshots he reportedly heard someone firing outside his house.
In addition, there was the planned protest on Wednesday against Beyoncé’s Super Bowl performance that fell flat with hardly anyone showing up for the cause.