Beyoncé may have found the best way to respond to people who have called for boycotts of her concerts and have accused her of promoting an anti-police message.
Her Formation World Tour kicked off in Miami on Wednesday, and T-shirts reading “Boycott Beyoncé” were on sale there for $45.
Javier Ortiz, the president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #20, in February called for officers to boycott the singer’s concert by refusing to staff the event. He said he thought Beyoncé’s “Formation” music video and Super Bowl performance displayed anti-police imagery.
Because staffing the concert is an extraduty assignment, Ortiz told The Huffington Post in February, officers who do not sign up to work it suffer no repercussions.
Apparently the suggested boycott didn’t have much of an impact. A Miami Police Department spokesman told the Miami Herald that more than enough had signed up to staff the event.
Ortiz told the Miami New Times on Wednesday that just 30 of the union’s 1,100 members signed up to work the event. However, a Miami-Dade Police Department spokesperson told HuffPost in February that multiple law enforcement agencies work together to staff big events, and that other agencies, including MDPD, may be affiliated with different unions.
Beyoncé addressed the criticism of her video in a rare interview with Elle earlier this month, saying people are wrong to accuse her of being anti-police.
“I mean, I’m an artist and I think the most powerful art is usually misunderstood. But anyone who perceives my message as anti-police is completely mistaken,” she said. “I have so much admiration and respect for officers and the families of officers who sacrifice themselves to keep us safe. But let’s be clear: I am against police brutality and injustice. Those are two separate things.”
“If celebrating my roots and culture during Black History Month made anyone uncomfortable, those feelings were there long before a video and long before me,” she added.
Originally found athttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/