Justice

The Head of the Miami Police Union Has Called for a Beyoncé Boycott

February 19th 2016

By:
Taylor Bell

Add the Miami Police Department to the growing list of groups that have taken offense over Beyoncé's “Formation" video and subsequent Super Bowl 50 performance, which critiques police brutality and pays homage to the Black Panther Party.

The president of the Miami Police Union Javier Ortiz has called for police officers in Miami and across the nation to boycott the singer’s concert because of her supposedly “anti-police message” during the halftime performance, the Miami Times reports.

beyonce-formation-video

The singer is supposed to kick off her world tour at Marlins Park in Miami in April. Miami police officers won't be joining they "Bey-hive," if Ortiz has his way.

In an official statement Ortiz explained:

“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. [ed. note, the concert is actually scheduled for April 27, according to the Miami Times] The fact that Beyoncé used this year’s Super Bowl to divide Americans by promoting the Black Panthers and her anti-police message shows how she does not support law enforcement.”

As the Miami Times noted, it not clear whether Ortiz wants officers to boycott buying tickets to the pop’s star concert or protest by refusing to work security.

Ortiz also used his statement to criticize Beyonce's "Formation" video. He specifically took issue with a scene in which a line of police officers stand in front a young boy dancing with their hands raised, an apparent nod to the popular "hands up, don't shoot," chant, which was popularized after the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by Ferguson Police Department officer Darren Wilson. Critics of police brutality assert that Brown's hands were raised above his head when Wilson shot him to death.

"I was one of the tens of thousands of law enforcement officers that didn’t watch the Super Bowl halftime show out of respect for our profession. On another day while flipping through the television channels, I did mistakenly watch her "Formation” video that shows scenes of a young black boy dancing in front of police in riot gear, who signal their surrender by putting their hands up, referencing the "Hands up, don't shoot" anthem of the Black Lives Matter movement inspired by the 2014 death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. I challenge Beyoncé to review the eighty-six page report written by the United States Department of Justice on the death investigation of Michael Brown."

Ortiz ended his statement by condemning Beyonce's Super Bowl 50 halftime performance that paid tribute to the controversial civil rights activist group the Black Panther Party, who Ortiz blames for the death of police officer Richard Rainey.

"While Beyoncé physically saluted the 50th anniversary of the Black Panthers movement at the Super Bowl, I salute NYPD Officer Richard Rainey, who succumbed to his injuries on February 16, 2016 [ed. note, Rainey actually died in March of 2015, according to the NY Daily News] from being shot by two Black Panthers who he had pulled over in a traffic stop. I also salute the dozens of law enforcement officers that have been assassinated by members of the Black Panthers."

Other groups protesting Beyonce

Initially, there were reports that police officers in Tampa, Florida would refuse to work security for Bey's April concert at Raymond James Stadium. But according to recent tweets from the Tampa Police Department, the concert will be fully staffed with police officers.

Earlier this week, white people who were offended by the "Formation" video threaten to boycott Red Lobster, after the seafood restaurant appeared to endorse the singer and her allegedly "anti-America" and "cop-killing" message.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani condemned the singer's Super Bowl halftime performance, calling it "outrageous," according to CNN.

"This is football, not Hollywood, and I thought it was really outrageous that she used it as a platform to attack police officers who are the people who protect her and protect us, and keep us alive," Giuliani told Fox News. "And 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, okay. We'll work on that. But the vast majority of police officers risk their lives to keep us safe....let's have decent, wholesome entertainment."

Immediately following Beyonce's Super Bowl performance, protestors planned an anti-Beyonce rally outside the National Football League headquarters. Organizers called the pop star's performance a "slap in the face to law enforcement." But according to the New York Post, the rally on February 16 was the "worst attended protest ever" and was called a hoax by critics.

You can watch Beyonce's "Formation" video below.