Miami’s Fraternal Order of Police voted to boycott Beyoncé’s performance in the city on April 26 in response to the singer’s halftime show at the Super Bowl.
FOP president Javier Ortiz released a statement explaining the decision, the Blaze reported:
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. 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.
Ortiz went on to allege “hands up, don’t shoot” was “built on a lie,” and appealed to other police unions to follow Miami’s example. The police union in New York has indicated it intends to do so.
However, Major Delrish Moss, a spokesman for the Miami Police Department, told Huffington Post that Ortiz does not speak for the department and the concert venue would be patrolled.
Beyoncé’s Super Bowl performance included references to Malcolm X, and a group of her dancers were pictured holding up a banner for Mario Woods.
Woods was surrounded by 12 police officers in San Francisco in December 2015 and shot dead while holding a kitchen knife. Videos of the killing were shared widely online, since they appeared to contradict the police’s allegation that Woods had extended the knife towards an officer.
For those seeking justice for Woods, Beyoncé’s performance was welcomed.
“For her to make a visual statement endorsing this movement is so powerful,” Black Lives Matter activist Rheema Emy Calloway told The Guardian. “She’s rekindling the spirit of Nina Simone.”
NFL running back Adrian Peterson recorded a video message in support of justice for Woods, and singer Alicia Keys also raised the issue at a performance on the eve of the Super Bowl.
Nearly 140,139 people have been killed by police officers across the U.S. in 2016, according to The Guardian.