TAMPA (FOX 13) - The Tampa Police Benevolent Association posted a statement on its website Friday, likely in response to speculation officers were refusing to sign up for overtime shifts which would cover security at Beyonce's show at Raymond James Stadium.
The statement says:
The Tampa PBA is disgusted with Beyonce’s performance on the night of the Super Bowl and equally disgusted with her new video “Formation.” The PBA does not support any artist who spreads an anti-police message.
We urge all law enforcement officers to boycott the purchase of Beyonce’s music and the purchase of tickets for her performances.
The Tampa PBA agrees extra duty assignments are voluntary and we support members who choose not to work extra duty. However, we are confident that on April 29th Tampa Police Officers will police Beyonce’s concert with courtesy, professionalism, and respect as they do daily for the citizens of Tampa.
Tampa's police union released its official statement Friday on the group's feelings toward Beyonce, her halftime performance, music and upcoming world tour, which makes a stop in Tampa in April.
Tampa Police Union: Boycott Beyonce, Now Work
No Interest in Extra Shifts From Officers
In a FOX 13 report Wednesday, TPD spokesperson Steve Hegarty acknowledged the controversy, saying, "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... This is a couple of months away, so we’ve still got plenty of time to fill those slots.”
Hegarty was unable to say if the lack sign-ups at the time (Wednesday, February 17) revealed officers' feelings about Beyonce or the recent controversy surrounding her music - including her Super Bowl halftime show where she and a group of dancers wore outfits themed after the Black Panthers.
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.
TPD Changes Tune
A day later, Tampa police said officers had signed up to work the event, but were not able to provide an exact number of list or names for those who volunteered for the overtime.
A TPD spokesman said the department was unable to do so because of the way these types of events are staffed, which he described as "decidedly decentralized," with supervisors working off several different lists.
Beyonce is set to perform at Raymond James Stadium on April 29, but before that, she'll perform in Miami, where her sold out tour will launch April 27.
The police union in Miami has taken a firm stand against the singer, voting to boycott her concert and issued a news release saying she officers believe she used the Super Bowl half time performance to divide Americans with an anti-police message.