It looks like Beyonce is going to have trouble getting uniformed police protection for her Tampa, FL concert.
Following her new song “Formation,” which critics claim has an anti-cop message due to imagery that includes the phrase “stop shooting us,” Tampa PD Officers are hesitant to provide security for the event.
Officers who are off-duty typically agree to work concerts and sporting events at the venue for extra income. However, none have signed up to work security for Beyonce’s upcoming concert on April 29 at Raymond James Stadium, according to Fox 13.
The concert is expected to be a sold-out show, so not staffing the event with uniformed officers would pose a substantial a security risk.
Tampa Police Department spokesperson Steve Hegarty was unable to say if the lack of names on the list revealed officers’ feelings about Beyonce or the recent controversy surrounding her music and the Super Bowl halftime show where she and a group of dancers wore outfits themed after the Black Panthers.
“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,” Hegarty explained to Fox 13. “This is a couple of months away, so we’ve still got plenty of time to fill those slots.”
Tampa Police did not clarify if officers could be forced to work the concert or if officers already on duty that night could be reassigned to cover the concert.
Police officials said this would not be the first time officers were not interested in working for an event featuring a controversial politician or celebrity, but each time the department is able to ensure enough officers cover the venue prior to the event.
Meanwhile, other law enforcement officers across the nation have spoken out against Beyonce’s “Formation” music video, which is set in New Orleans and features a wall that reads “Stop shooting us,” and shows Beyonce standing on top of a sinking police cruiser.
Last week, a Detroit Police sergeant’s Facebook post sparked an internal investigation.
The post read: “If the dance troupe at the top is okay for this year’s halftime show, then the one at a bottom should be okay for next year’s, right?” The picture showed Beyonce’s backup dancers dressed as Black Panthers compared to an image of the Ku Klux Klan.
“Would that be acceptable if a white band came out in hoods and white sheets in the same sort of fashion? We would be appalled and outraged,” said Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clark, who appeared on Fox News to speak out against the pop star’s new song.
Despite the outrage, an Anti-Beyonce protest held outside NFL headquarters on Tuesday fell on deaf ears- drawing only three individuals who found themselves outnumbered by Beyonce supporters.
Beyonce’s upcoming world tour is slated to stop in Tampa on April 29th at Raymond James Stadium.
UPDATE: When contacted by LEO Affairs, Tampa PD Media Affairs Spokesperson Andrea Davis countered the original story, stating that “we (TPD) already have officers signed up to work the concert, which is two months out. The event will be staffed with police officers.”
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