A sheriff in Tennessee is placing the blame for a drive-by shooting outside his home on Monday night, as well as the deaths of several other police officers, on Beyoncé, her new video, and the Super Bowl halftime show.
In a recent interview, Rutherford County Sheriff Robert Arnold mentioned to the media that he is aware that his job makes him a target on a regular basis, but in this instance, when approximately six shots were fired outside of his home, he has a suspicion that Beyoncé’s new video for “Formation” was to be blamed. The sheriff also went on to blame the music icon for a number of law enforcement deaths that have occurred since Beyoncé’s Super Bowl performance when she paid tribute to black empowerment and referenced the Black Panthers, Malcolm X, Michael Jackson, and the Black Lives Matter movement.
“We all know, as soon as you put your uniform on, you’re a target. You make people mad when you’re just doing your job.”
Sheriff Arnold said that one of the first things that came to mind when he heard the shots being fired was to wonder if it was attributable to the Super Bowl.
“Once I kind of figured everything out, you know, with everything since the half[time show] at the Super Bowl and with law enforcement as a whole. I mean I think we’ve lost five to seven officers. Five deputy chairs since Sunday’s Super Bowl. You know that’s what I’m thinking, you know, here’s another target on law enforcement. You have Beyoncé’s video and that’s kind of bled over into other things about law enforcement.”
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) February 16, 2016
Media outlet Syracuse.com reported that the first four days after Beyoncé’s performance, five cops were killed across the country, but there has been no reports that any of the deaths were linked to the singer.
The Sheriff may have forgotten in his blaming of Beyoncé for the shooting that he is currently under investigation by the FBI and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for reportedly selling e-cigarettes to prisoners and his office. The Daily Beast relayed that last year, his three homes and his supplier, JailCigs, which is owned by his aunt and uncle, were all raided. A $20 million lawsuit is also pending against Arnold and his sheriff’s office after an inmate was allegedly beaten in his jail cell, resulting in permanent brain damage, and that family has repeatedly threatened violence for the brutality.
The video caused outrage among many conservatives who accused both the video and the halftime performance of containing racist and anti-law enforcement imagery, such as the portion where a little boy in a hoodie dances in front of a line of cops dressed in full riot gear, a wall tagged with the words “stop shooting us,” and a cop car the singer sits on in the video ultimately sinks.
Sheriff Robert Arnold is not the first to have expressed such sentiments, as last week, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani accused Beyoncé of using her performance to attack the police officers, who are there to “protect us all.” Arnold stood by his comment in a later email, stating that they are an observation of the violence that has occurred following the show, reflected by the senseless killings of seven law enforcement officers since.
— The Independent (@Independent) February 17, 2016
According to the Lansing State Journal, the Sheriff’s sentiments are also shared by the the National Sheriff’s Association, as their website has some scathing words of review for the halftime performance.
“The senseless killing of four law enforcement officers just this week — on the heels of the anti-police ‘entertainment’ at the Sunday Super Bowl halftime show — reminds us that the men and women in law enforcement take a solemn oath that includes putting their lives on the line everyday to protect our citizens.”
Officials stated that there were a total of six.22-caliber casings found outside of the Sheriff’s home after the suspects fled the scene in a Nissan Altima. None of the shots hit the Sheriff’s house. Arnold has stressed his worry for his family, which includes his wife, a 3-year-old son, and an 8-year-old daughter, and a deputy has been posted to his house when his family are home.
The investigation into the shooting outside of Arnold’s home is still ongoing.
[Photo by Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Images]