Miami, FL – In response to the controversial Super Bowl halftime show featuring Beyoncé and others, the Miami Fraternal Order of Police has voted to boycott her upcoming concerts while calling on other cops across the country to participate in their tantrum. The police union is also urging officers not to provide security at her shows despite the fact that multiple law enforcement agencies routinely assign officers to large concerts.
Although he admitted he did not bother watching the Super Bowl halftime show, Javier Ortiz, president of Miami Fraternal Order of Police, recently released a statement confirming, “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. 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.”
Ortiz added, “We ask all law enforcement labor organizations to join our boycott across the country and to boycott all of her concerts.”
Instead of watching her halftime show performance, Ortiz claims he “mistakenly” viewed the new music video to her song “Formation.” As Beyoncé sings atop a sinking New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) patrol car, a child dances in front of a row of cops dressed in riot gear. Written on the wall in graffiti are the words: “Stop shooting us.”
According to spokesmen with the Miami Police Department and Tampa Police Department, officers are expected to fully staff her upcoming concerts despite the police union’s recent vote to boycott her shows. Maj. Delrish Moss, a spokesman for the Miami Police Department, told HuffPost, “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.”
After hearing gunshots outside his house, Rutherford County Sheriff Robert Arnold immediately blamed Beyoncé this week for the shooting. Attacking her halftime show performance for displaying “black power” salutes and dressing similar to Black Panthers, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani stated, “What we should be doing in the African-American community, and all communities, is build up respect for police officers. And focus on the fact that when something does go wrong, OK, we’ll work on that.”
When police unions across the country, including Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and New York, asked cops to boycott Quentin Tarantino’s recent movie, “The Hateful Eight,” he responded, “What they’re doing is pretty obvious. Instead of dealing with the incidents of police brutality that those people were bringing up, instead of examining the problem of police brutality in this country, better they single me out. And their message is very clear. It’s to shut me down. It’s to discredit me. It is to intimidate me. It is to shut my mouth, and even more important than that, it is to send a message out to any other prominent person that might feel the need to join that side of the argument.”
Instead of launching boycotts against artists who are actually good at their jobs, police unions would garner more public support if they stopped acting like all cops are infallible. Although the police unions have the chance to publicly address escalating police brutality and militarization, they would rather pout in the corner and boycott the few celebrities with the courage to stand up for people who did not deserve to die at the hands of the police.
Andrew Emett is a Los Angeles-based reporter exposing political and corporate corruption. His interests include national security, corporate abuse, and holding government officials accountable. Andrew’s work has appeared on Raw Story, Alternet, Activist Post, and many other sites. You can follow him on Twitter @AndrewEmett and on Facebook at Andrew Emett.