Officers Boycotting Beyonce Concert May Be Forced Into Work
During his 2012 campaign for re-election, President Obama told guests at a fundraiser hosted by rapper-mogul Jay-Z and his wife, Beyoncé, that “she could not be a better role model for my girls because she carries herself with such class and poise and has so much talent.”
The “role model’s” talent was on display during the half-time show at the Super Bowl when the entertainer debuted her tribute to the Black Panthers and anti-police message, which former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani called “an attack on police officers.”
For the officers themselves, many police unions and other organizations announced protests and boycotts of Beyoncé’s concert tour, only to have the multi-millionaire seize the spotlight by marketing “Boycott Beyoncé” T-shirts, hats, cellphone cases and other merchandise at concert venues.
Now, as her tour moves toward a concert at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on May 31, police may be taking the boycott to the next level by refusing to volunteer for security and traffic details on the night of the concert.
Venues request those services from the police department who sign up for the duty on a strictly voluntarily basis, but officers of the Pittsburgh Police Department may be slow in volunteering in protest of anti-cop lyrics in her Black Lives Matter-themed album, “Lemonade.”
Although city officials deny hearing anything but rumors about a possible “blue walkout,” a memorandum from the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police says 29 t0 35 officers will be required to work at the venue the night of the concert if an insufficient number of cops volunteer.
Cameron McLay, the city’s Chief of Police says he has been “regularly checking with my staff… and my last understanding was we had the event staffed to our satisfaction.”
Robert Swartzwelder, the president of the Fraternal Order of the Police Lodge No. 1 disagreed, saying, “There are police officers that have expressed that they do not want to support an artist that they don’t like what she has to say. It’s up to them what they want to do with their off-duty time.”