Beyoncé‘s Super Bowl 50 halftime performance drew both praise and criticism. One group that falls into the latter category is the Miami Fraternal Order of Police. As Miami New Times reports, the Miami Police Union President is calling for law enforcement officers to boycott the kickoff date to her Formation World Tour in April. The call for the boycott comes just days after a failed anti-Beyoncé protest took place outside NFL headquarters in New York, where only three protestors showed up.
Fraternal Order of Police President Javier Ortiz said in a statement that he believes her Super Bowl performance divided “Americans by promoting the Black Panthers and her anti-police message shows how she does not support law enforcement.” At the Super Bowl, Beyoncé’s dancers sported items associated with the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, including afros, berets and black leather. It also marked the 50th anniversary of the group.
While Ortiz stated he did not watch the halftime show “out of respect for our profession,” he did view Beyoncé’s “Formation” video and took issue with the scene where police appear in riot gear with their hands up while a boy dances in front of them in a hoodie. The clip references the Black Lives Matter movement’s “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” mantra that followed the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. “‘Hands up, don’t shoot’ was built on a lie,” Ortiz wrote.
He closed by paying homage to police and called for action beyond Miami. “I also salute the dozens of law enforcement officers that have been assassinated by members of the Black Panthers,” he wrote. “We ask all law enforcement labor organizations to join our boycott across the country and to boycott all of her concerts.”
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Ortiz does not make clear whether the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, who voted for the boycott according to the statement, is asking police to boycott attending the Beyoncé show, or if it’s a request that police avoid working the event.
Beyoncé’s April 27th show at Miami Marlins Stadium is sold out.