Many cops have elected to boycott Beyonce's "Formation" tour due to its perceived message. How is this legal? Don't the police have certain obligations? Maybe not.
As you know, Beyonce has caught a lot of heat and backlash for her "Formation" song and its Super Bowl 50 performance. Allegedly, several law enforcement officials have stated that the song exudes an anti-cop agenda even though it doesn't explicitly state "anti-cop" rhetoric anywhere within the lyrics.
From where does the boycott talk arise? Since Beyonce posed a notable image of Black Panther affiliation during the Super Bowl, the concept has been indirectly received. The Black Panther Party is a civil rights activist group formed to combat against police brutality in the 1960s, reports the Winston-Salem Chronicle.As a rebuttal to Beyonce's song and performance, various cops have decided to make a statement of their own via police unions. Essentially, that statement points out that cops won't put their lives on the line to protect someone who's endorsing alleged anti-cop behavior and mentalities. However, since cops are paid by the taxpayers to provide a civil service of protection, are they at liberty to boycott Beyonce's "Formation" tour? Yes and no.
According to the Miami New Times, the Miami Community Police Benevolent Association (MCPBA) doesn't agree with the Miami Fraternal Order of Police's (FOP) president, Javier Ortiz. In an open letter, MCPBA states as follows.
"Ortiz's call for police officers to abdicate their sworn duty to protect and serve even the unpopular by boycotting her upcoming concert is another example of what has proven to be a long pattern of irresponsible behavior on his part."
The officer union has stated that FOP's president has a "lengthy history of pissing people off." CNN also reports that New York City Sergeant Ed Mullins mentioned that if Beyonce needed assistance, he could guarantee that police would respond. However, he also said that any boycotts in Beyonce's regard would be from off-duty cops.
Interestingly enough, as Mullins mentions, normal concert protection detail is usually worked by off-duty cops or private sector companies. Simultaneously, the New York sergeant expressed that Beyonce is in a position to do or say something positive about cops, rather than allegedly tear them down. Yet, he also notes and acknowledges a distrust from "communities of color" towards police officers.As a side note, the above tweet is a depiction of devastation from Hurricane Katrina and how the city of New Orleans (especially 9th Ward residents) was, basically, left to fend for itself.
However, to digress, MCPBA states that FOP's president saw an opportunity to "race bait" the situation and attract the media on his side.
"All of these things, and others not mentioned here, have common denominators in that they involve African-Americans that he portrays in a negative light with thinly veiled racist overtones, and they all had the potential to draw the news media to Mr. Ortiz and away from his failure as a leader and as an example of a model public servant."
Amid the hype and controversy surrounding the potential cop boycott, the Nation of Islam has offered to provide Beyonce with protection detail from its own "Fruit of Islam" security personnel, reports the Inquisitr.Even during times when Louis Farrakhan and President Obama have talked, alongside Secret Service detail, there were also Nation of Islam detail for Farrakhan's protection as well, as reports the Daily Caller. So, it seems that FOI is no third-rate service.
All in all, FOP isn't the first police officer-related organization to say that Beyonce has been responsible for recent heights of cop troubles. Shortly after the performance, the National Sheriff's Association made similar allegations about the "Formation" singer, reports CNN.
What's your stance and opinion on the issue? With which cop union do you agree?