The Miami Fraternal Order of Police is boycotting Beyonce’s “Formation World Tour” in their city, calling on all officers to refuse to work the concert when Bey comes to town in April.
FOP President Javier Ortiz released a statement on February 17 that called Bey “anti-police,” and urged law enforcement officers to not provide security for her show at Marlins Park. Ortiz says the boycott stems from the Super Bowl 50 halftime show (which he claims not to have watched) and Beyoncé’s “Formation” video (which he admits to seeing, but only on accident). How Ortiz could take such offense at something he claims to have never seen is a mystery on par with “What was Red Lobster’s social media team doing for eight hours?”
Via the statement:
“The fact that Beyoncé used this year’s Super Bowl to divide Americans by promoting the Black Panthers and her anti-police message shows how she does not support law enforcement.
I was one of the tens of thousands of law enforcement officers that didn’t watch the Super Bowl halftime show out of respect for our profession. On another day while flipping through the television channels, I did mistakenly watch her “Formation” video that shows scenes of a young black boy dancing in front of police in riot gear, who signal their surrender by putting their hands up, referencing the “Hands up, don’t shoot” anthem of the Black Lives Matter movement inspired by the 2014 death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.”
Presumably, Ortiz believes Beyoncé has created an unsafe situation by singling out police officers. In response, he wishes to create an even more unsafe situation by intentionally undermining the security of a massive event in the middle of his city. While other cities have seen police refusing to sign up for security work, this statement is the first official call for an organized boycott of the tour.
In the statement, Ortiz goes on to attack the tactics of the Black Lives Matter movement. He says that the mantra of “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” was “built on a lie.” To counter Beyoncé’s homage to the Black Panthers during the halftime show — which, remember, he never actually saw — Ortiz salutes Richard Rainey, a police officer who he claims “succumbed to his injuries on February 16, 2016 from being shot by two Black Panthers.”
This salute is both intentionally misleading and factually incorrect. Let’s break it down:
Richard Rainey was an NYPD police officer who was shot by black militants. However, they were members of the Black Liberation Army, a much more violent fringe group that was formed by former members of the BPP who left the group or were forcibly expelled. He died in 2015. However, the confrontation in question occurred a full 34 years earlier in April of 1981.
Check out the full statement over at WPLG.
Of course, Ortiz is no stranger to fiery and questionable rhetoric. He called Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old who was killed while playing with a toy gun, a “thug” and doxxed a woman who criticized the Miami Police.