It appears some police officers in the United States haven’t forgotten Beyoncé’s super-charged Super Bowl 50 halftime performance — she was criticized for allegedly paying homage to the Black Panthers and the black power movement as well as supporting a tribute to black men killed by cops.
Though her upcoming April 29 concert in Tampa, Fl. is sold out, no police officer wants to work it, reports Fox News. Usually, off-duty officers agree to work concerts and sporting events for extra income, but in this particular case, there aren’t any takers.
“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,” Tampa Police Department spokesperson Steve Hegarty said to the news channel. “This is a couple of months away, so we’ve still got plenty of time to fill those slots.”
Hegarty didn’t address the reason behind the lack of volunteers, and didn’t specify if officers will eventually be assigned to work the concert, regardless of their feelings.
Since Beyoncé’s halftime performance, law enforcement officials have said there’s rising “anti-police sentiment” in the U.S.
Five police officers have been shot and killed in the country, according to the non-profit site Officer Down Memorial Page, since the event on Feb. 7.
“[Beyoncé’s halftime performance] is inciting bad behaviour,” National Sheriffs’ Association Executive Director Jonathan Thompson told The Washington Post. “Art is one thing, but yelling fire in a crowded theatre is an entirely different one.”
Last week, Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clark Jr. compared the singer’s attire to the white robes of the Ku Klux Klan on the Fox Business Channel:
Even former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani weighed in on the controversy, calling the Super Bowl performance “outrageous” and New York politician Peter King wrote in a Facebook post that it was “just one more example of how acceptable it has become to be anti-police.”Follow @CJancelewicz
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