While the hype for Beyoncé’s “Formation Tour” continues to build across the country, Florida police departments are pushing to boycott working security at venues hosting her sold-out shows. The Miami chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police recently voted to deny security services at Beyoncé’s April 26 show at Marlins Stadium.
According to Lt. Javier Ortiz, the national police union are encouraging local law enforcement officers in Dade County to refrain from signing up to work the event in an open letter posted on their website. Ortiz says the reason for the boycott stems from Beyoncé’s use of “this year’s Super Bowl to divide Americans by promoting the Black Panthers and her anti-police message.
The letter doesn’t indicate if it’s an official order or simply a blunt request. Ortiz also doesn’t specify whether their declaration strictly refers to union members or applies to all Miami cops and their families. There are no repercussions listed for cops who ignore the boycott, which begs the question: will cops who want to attend the concert for their own pleasure be barred from attending?
Since the FOP challenged police officers everywhere to boycott the tour, it appears like law officials in Tampa are following suit. The Tampa Police Department is having trouble locking in officers to work the April 29 concert at Raymond James Stadium, which is also expected to sell out.
“We’re going to staff it because we have a responsibility to do that regardless of how controversial it might be, who the artist might be, or the politician might be,” Police spokesman Steve Hegarty Hegarty explained. “This is a couple of months away, so we’ve still got plenty of time to fill those slots.”
As the clock ticks and Queen Bey’s tour draws closer, these Florida cities may want to have a plan ‘b’ on deck in case the FOP’s boycott actually affects the livelihood of fans and the Carter family. Although previous boycotts against the singer have epically failed, it wouldn’t hurt to be prepared for the worst.