Beyoncé Dancers: ‘Justice 4 Mario Woods’

Mario Woods (Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)
Jeff Chiu / Associated Press

Beyoncé’s Super Bowl backup dancers decided to make a political statement about the Mario Woods case after the Super Bowl, and paid tribute to the Black Panthers as the dancers posed for a video outside Levi’s Stadium.

The dancers, dressed in black with black berets and raising their fists to imitate the Panthers, held a sign reading “Justice 4 Mario Woods”, referring to the 26-year-old shot dead by San Francisco police officers in December, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The video was tweeted by @BLMBayArea, which calls itself the “Official Black Lives Matter Chapter for the SF Bay Area.”

The Black Panthers advocated violence. In 1966, Black Panther “minister of culture” Emory Douglas stated, “The only way to make this racist U.S. government administer justice to the people it is oppressing, is … by taking up arms against this government, killing the officials, until the reactionary forces … are dead, and those that are left turn their weapons on their superiors.” As former Panther leader Eldridge Cleaver confessed in 1998 on 60 minutes, “If people had listened to Huey Newton and me in the 1960s, there would have been a holocaust in this country.”

Woods had been accused of stabbing a man and carrying a knife when he was shot in a confrontation with officers. Officers claimed he told one officer pointing a gun at him, “You better squeeze that … and kill me.” Police chief Greg Suhr said that the use of beanbag rounds and pepper spray had not subdued Woods. A video showing the shooting provoked outrage, prompting the U.S. Department of Justice to assert it would review the SPFPD’s actions.


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