The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday October 20th

Raleigh police vote not to boycott Beyoncé concert

Beyoncé’s Super Bowl halftime show and her “Formation” music video triggered police unions in Miami, Tampa and Nashville to boycott any off-duty security work for her upcoming concerts — but Raleigh’s police union unanimously voted not to boycott.

The Raleigh Police Protective Association voted Feb. 23 not to boycott her world tour concert to be held in Raleigh May 3. 

“It is our duty as a professional organization to protect and serve regardless of anybody’s political ideology,” said Rick Armstrong, spokesperson of Raleigh Police Protective Association.

One week after this decision, a Raleigh police officer was involved with a shooting that resulted in the death of a 24-year-old African American man, who was identified as a drug suspect, sparking protest about police brutality in black communities.

Still, Armstrong said other police unions’ decisions to boycott are democratic.

“You know, when they say boycott, at the end of the day it's more of a symbolic gesture because the police officers will ultimately work at the concert,” he said.

Javier Ortiz, president of Miami Fraternal Order of Police, said in a statement that Beyoncé’s recent performance was designed to divide Americans by promoting the Black Panther Party.

During the Super Bowl performance, Beyoncé’s backup dancers wore uniforms that were criticized for paying homage to the Black Panthers. The Black Panther Party, an African-American revolutionary party founded in 1966 that dissolved during the 1980s, called African Americans to be armed and defend their neighborhoods from police brutality.

Former Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani said Beyoncé should use her celebrity status to encourage people to respect the police, not to make them appear to be an enemy.

But The Stop Mass Incarceration Network, a group founded in 2011 to stop the injustice of police brutality and racial profiling, disagreed with the attack on Beyoncé’s performance.

“People can’t allow the supporters of police terror and brutality to get away with attacking and trying to intimidate prominent people when they speak out against police brutality,” the group said in a press release.

state@dailytarheel.com

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