While Beyoncé’s upcoming concert in Tampa, Florida is expected to sell out, the show is lacking adequate security personnel, as local police officers have thus far refused to sign up to work at the event.
Fox 13 reports in the aftermath of the singer’s politically and racially charged Super Bowl halftime performance earlier this month, in which she paid tribute to the Black Panther Party with her new song “Formation,” a police sign-up sheet for the Apr. 29 event at Raymond James Stadium remains empty.
The affiliate reports that off-duty officers typically agree to work concerts and sporting events at the stadium to earn extra money; however, none have signed up to work security for Beyoncé.
As of this week, not a single officer has volunteered.
Tampa Police Department spokesperson Steve Hegarty told Fox 13 not having uniformed officers on hand to police the crowd would be a security risk.
Hegarty could not confirm if the lack of willing officers is related to Beyoncé’s Super Bowl performance, which many in the law enforcement community feel was anti-police, but said the department would assign officers if needed.
“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 said. “This is a couple of months away, so we’ve still got plenty of time to fill those slots.”
Officials also said it is common for officers to avoid working events featuring controversial artists or politicians, and the department always ensures there are enough police on hand.
On Tuesday, a sheriff in Tennessee partially blamed Beyoncé for the shootings roughly a half-dozen police officers nationwide since the Super Bowl on Feb. 7.
“With everything that’s happened since the Super Bowl, with law enforcement as a whole, I think we’ve lost five to seven officers, five deputy sheriffs since the Super Bowl, that’s what I’m thinking,” said Rutherford County sheriff Robert Arnold.
Added Arnold: “You have Beyoncé’s video and that’s kind of bled over into other things about law enforcement.”
Beyoncé released the music video for “Formation” a day before the Super Bowl.
The five-minute video references the group Black Lives Matter numerous times and shows a young black child in a black hoodie and a line of police officers dressed in riot gear.
The video also shows graffiti that reads, “Stop shooting us” and concludes with Beyoncé laying on top of a sinking police cruiser.
Watch the video for “Formation” below:
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