Beyoncé’s upcoming world tour is set to kick off in Miami on April 26 at Marlins Park. In reaction to Bey’s performance of “Formation” at the Super Bowl and the Black Lives Matter message in the music video released the day before, the Miami Police Union is calling for a Beyoncé boycott. They aren’t stopping with just Miami though and are pushing for other law enforcement unions to get behind the boycott and refuse to work details for the upcoming concerts. Is the police union boycott appropriate or will they just put more lives at risk by refusing to assist the upcoming Beyoncé tour dates?
The Miami Fraternal Order of Police voted to boycott the Beyoncé concert and issued a statement to the media after deciding not to support the Miami concert in April. The statement was written by Javier Ortiz, who admitted that he refused to watch Beyoncé in the Super Bowl halftime performance and only accidentally watched the music video for “Formation.” Ortiz wrote, “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.” During the Super Bowl performance, Beyoncé saluted the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther party, a move that has many police officers enraged. She was also criticized for dressing up in a Black Panthers outfit and her all-black backup dancers were seen later posing in what has been considered an offensive manner.
The “Formation” music video has upset law enforcement further. Many have taken offense to scenes in the video that depict police officers in full riot gear as a black child dances in front of them as well as other various #BlackLivesMatter themes. According to CNN, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani told Don Lemon that Beyoncé should be spreading a message “to respect the uniform, not to make it appear as if they are the enemy.”
The National Sheriff’s Association has blamed the Beyoncé performance for the deaths of four officers last week. Meanwhile, another sheriff blamed the “Formation” music video when shots were fired outside his house. The Tennessee sheriff said in a news conference that he believes Beyoncé’s message might have provoked the violence.
— michelekirkBPR (@michelekirkBPR) February 19, 2016
Maj. Delrish Moss spoke on behalf of the Miami Police Department in regard to the Beyoncé boycott. Moss claims that Ortiz and the union boycott does not necessarily mean that police will refuse to work the Beyoncé concert security detail. Although the Miami Fraternal Order of Police is urging all law enforcement to boycott and many cities are considering the idea, Moss said that Marlins Park, where Beyoncé will kick off her tour, will be protected.
“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.
— Indy People (@TheIndyPeople) February 19, 2016
Many law enforcement agencies have stepped up to say that their officers will be allowed to make up their own minds about staffing the security detail for upcoming Beyoncé concerts. Previously there was some issue about whether or not a Tampa concert would be staffed when it was reported that no one had signed up. Tampa Police spokesman Steve Hegarty did tell the Huffington Post that officers had actually signed up and the event would be fully staffed.
— Rob Dew (@DewsNewz) February 9, 2016
While it makes sense that law enforcement upset by Beyoncé’s lyrics and music video might call to boycott the purchase of concert tickets and albums, is it okay for police unions to urge officers not to work security details too? It seems that would be putting venues at risk as well as those who just want to enjoy a Beyoncé concert.
[Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images]