News sources out of Pittsburgh are reporting that the city’s police force is planning to boycott the upcoming Beyoncé concert, after the union learned that some officers may have been forced to work the show.
Due to a lack of volunteers to work security at the show, the city of Pittsburgh attempted to make it mandatory that some officers work the concert, which resulted in the backlash. Some police groups in the United States view the singer’s lyrics as inflammatory and very anti-police.
Breaking: pgh police may be forced to work Beyoncé concert after few officers volunteer for detail in wake of her anti police lyrics#wpxi
— Rick Earle (@WPXITarget11) May 20, 2016
The union also says this is a violation of their contract, and plans to file an unfair labour practice charge against the city. The union is accusing the mayor and police chief of intentionally violating the contract.
READ MORE: U.S. police union calls for nationwide boycott of Beyoncé’s world tour
“Both the mayor and the chief are intentionally violating the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Act while hiding behind the veil of ‘Public Safety,’” said Fraternal Order of Police President Robert Swartzwelder.
While the union focuses on the forced work aspect of the situation, some police officers have privately and anonymously told WPXI News in Pittsburgh that the boycott is a result of what they perceive to be anti-police bias in Beyoncé’s music.
When asked about the planned boycott, Police Chief Cameron McLay didn’t seem to know anything about it and responded with a promise that the police will “protect the streets of Pittsburgh.”
Ever since Beyoncé debuted her Lemonade single Formation at the Super Bowl halftime show in February, some law enforcement officials have said there’s rising “anti-police sentiment” in the U.S.
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Law Enforcement Fatalities | Graphiq
Beyoncé’s super-charged Super Bowl 50 halftime performance was criticized for allegedly paying homage to the Black Panthers and the black power movement, as well as supporting a tribute to black men killed by cops.
In one part of her Formation music video, a young African-American boy wearing a hoodie dances in front of police officers wearing riot gear. The words “Stop Shooting Us” appear in graffiti on a wall nearby.
READ MORE: Beyoncé criticized for apparent homage to Black Panthers during Super Bowl halftime show
At least 18 police officers have been shot and killed in the country, according to the non-profit site Officer Down Memorial Page, since the event on Feb. 7.
Despite it all, an anti-Beyoncé protest planned in Manhattan post-Super Bowl was a gigantic flop, with only three people showing up. Beyoncé herself says her music isn’t anti-police, but it’s all in how the listener interprets the songs.
The May 31 Pittsburgh concert is scheduled to take place at Heinz Field, which can seat just over 65,000 people.
Beyoncé Timeline | PrettyFamous