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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Members of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police are calling for all law enforcement officers to boycott Beyoncé’s concert in Miami later this year.
Thursday morning, the president of the group – Javier Ortiz – mailed out a letter saying the group had voted “to have all law enforcement officers boycott Beyoncé’s concert” at Miami Marlins Stadium on April 27th.
The vote was over officers choosing not work the Beyoncé concert. The vote not to work it was unanimous.
“Officers that work these extra duties. They’re called extra duties for a reason. It’s because they’re voluntary and I simply will not sign up and many of the officers that I’ve spoken to said that they’re not going to sign up,” said Ortiz who spoke exclusively with CBS4’s Gary Nelson.
Ortiz says the group believes Beyoncé used the Super Bowl to “divide Americans by promoting Black Panthers and her anti-police message.”
“The message she gave was a very clear message to law enforcement,” said Ortiz. “She has made anti-police message when she put together that 50th anniversary salute, so to speak, about the Black Panthers during the Super Bowl and my members are extremely upset about that.”
But the Miami Police department and Major Delrish Moss are singing a different tune.
“I’ve talked to some people who were at that meeting and they’re saying that if a vote was taken, it was a vote of one because they saw no vote,” Moss told CBS 4’s Carey Codd.
Moss said Ortiz works for the police department but does not speak for the police department; he speaks for the members of the union that he represents, Moss said. Bottom line — Moss said if there’s a concert like Beyoncé’s upcoming show in Miami, the police will be there to protect and serve.
“Anybody that wants to go to that concert, that wants to enjoy themselves at that concert can rest assured that the police are going to be there to protect them,” he said.
Moss said Ortiz’s comments got a reaction.
“He makes a lot of statements some responsible, some irresponsible,” Moss said. “This is probably one of those irresponsible statements.”
In the letter, Ortiz referred back to her video “Formation” and scenes in it that angered him, saying in part,
“I did mistakenly watch her “Formation” video that shows scenes of a young black boy dancing in front of police in riot gear, who signal their surrender by putting their hands up, referencing the ‘Hands up, don’t shoot’ anthem of the Black Lives Matter movement inspired by the 2014 death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.”
He went on, “As detailed throughout the USDOJ report, those hands up, don’t shoot accounts are inaccurate because they are inconsistent with the physical and forensic evidence. Countless others contradicted or recanted their accounts of what transpired. Hands up, don’t shoot was built on a lie.”
In response, he challenged Beyoncé to review the 86 page report released by United States Department of Justice on the death investigation of Michael Brown.
“What we should be doing is trying to build better relationships among the community and law enforcement and what she’s doing is just the direct opposite,” said Ortiz.
He is also calling for other law enforcement labor organizations to join their boycott of Beyoncé’s concerts across the country.
“She has risked public safety not only for the public but for our law enforcement officers,” said Ortiz. “Putting out an anti-police message is not the message you want to be sending out.”
It is unclear what security measures will be taken at Marlins Park in place of those officers who are opting to boycott the event.
CBS4 News wanted to get a response from Beyoncé’s camp on this issue. CBS4 called her representatives and left a message but have not heard back.