Requests for TPD officers to work Beyonce concert unfilled

Crystal Clark reports

Update - Following FOX 13's original story on the matter of security staffing for the Beyonce show at Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Police said officers were signed up to work the event. Read the update here: TPD: 'Dozens' signed up to work Beyonce show, exact number unavailable

TAMPA (FOX 13) - Beyonce has taken a lot of heat for her new song “Formation,” which critics claim has an anti-cop message. Some Tampa Police officers might agree, if the request to work her upcoming Tampa concert is any indication. No one has agreed to do it.

Typically, officers who are off-duty agree to work concerts and sporting events at the venue for extra income, but none have signed up to work security for Beyonce’s upcoming concert on April 29 at Raymond James Stadium. 

The concert is expected to be a sold-out show, so not staffing the event with uniformed officers would be a security risk. 

Tampa Police Department spokesperson Steve Hegarty was unable to tell FOX 13 News 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. “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.

FOX 13 reached out to the Tampa police union for its official stance on officers working at the Beyonce concert, but no one was available for comment Wednesday. 

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 half-time show, then the one at a bottom should be okay for next year’s, right?"

The picture showed Beyonce’s back up 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.

However, an Anti-Beyonce protest held outside NFL headquarters on Tuesday drew only three people. Others in attendance were in support of the singer.

Beyonce’s upcoming world tour is slated to stop in Tampa on April 29 at Raymond James Stadium. Tickets are currently on sale.

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