Miami FOP urges boycott of Beyonc Concert

Posted at 2:47 PM, Feb 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-18 15:32:09-05

 When Beyoncé kicks off her 2016 Formation World Tour in Miami later this spring, members of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police don't plan to be there.

In an announcement released Wednesday evening, Miami FOP president Javier Ortiz said they're urging all law enforcement labor organizations to boycott not just her Miami performance, but all of her concerts.

The planned boycott is in reaction to the singer's politically-charged music video for her latest single and her equally controversial Super Bowl performance of the song.

The "Formation" music video, dropped the night before Super Bowl 50, features provocative imagery referencing Hurricane Katrina and the Black Lives Matter movement, and lyrics that celebrate natural hair and black pride.

Included among the controversial visuals are images of a young black boy wearing a hoodie and dancing in front of police in riot gear who then surrender with their hands up.

The video also cuts to a brick wall spray painted with the words "stop shooting us" and ends with the singer sinking underneath flood waters while on top of a submerged police car.

The Super Bowl performance drew even more controversy, as it featured beret-clad back-up dancers in an homage to the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther movement.

Both the video and performance were attacked as "outrageous" by conservatives like former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

A Tennessee sheriff recently suggested that Beyoncé's performance and music video may be directly related to an alleged rise in violence against police officers.

Mobile users click here for video

An anonymous online petition also called for a Beyoncé protest outside of NFL headquarters in New York City which was reportedly sparsely attended

Others, meanwhile, have celebrated both the singer and the performance. In an interview with NPR, filmmaker and writer Dream Hampton called it "an homage to the black South," adding "It's about a black future [where] we are imagining ourselves having power and magic, and I think it's beautiful."

The New York Times described the video as being "among the most politically direct work she’s done in her career," and posed the question of whether Beyoncé should be considered a singer, an activist, or a combination of both.

Saturday Night Live even parodied the reaction to the video in the form of a panic-filled trailer for a horror movie entitled "The Day Beyoncé Turned Black."

For Ortiz, the video and the controversy are no laughing matter. In his statement, he accuses the pop star of spreading an anti-police message and lacking support for law enforcement.

"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 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," he wrote.

He also referenced the report written by the Department of Justice on the 2014 death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri - which inspired the "hands up, don't shoot" mantra. Ortiz claims the report suggests that the hands up, don't shoot accounts of witnesses are "inaccurate because they are inconsistent with the physical and forensic evidence."

In the letter, Ortiz said he did not watch the halftime show "out of respect for our profession" but "mistakenly" watched the controversial music video.

Ortiz concludes the letter with a call for law enforcement labor organizations nationwide to join the boycott.

Beyoncé, meanwhile, has not commented publicly on the controversy.

The tour will kick off April 27 at Miami Marlins Stadium and will include shows in North America and Europe.

The tour wraps on July 31 in Brussels.