Police: No issues staffing security for Beyonce's Fla. concert

The officers are paid $41 per hour to work events at the stadium

By Geoff Fox
Tampa Tribune

TAMPA, Fla. — The Super Bowl halftime show performed this year by Beyonce drew the ire of cops around the country, as many in the law enforcement community saw her act — and her music video “Formation” — as anti-police.

In Miami, members of the police union voted in February to boycott tonight’s concert at Marlins Park, where her worldwide tour kicks off. Despite that vote, The Miami Herald this week reported that the show will be “patrolled as usual” by Miami police.

That also will be true when the famous singer, married to rapper Jay Z, performs at Raymond James Stadium on Friday, local authorities said.

Tampa Police spokeswoman Andrea Davis said the agency can’t divulge how many of its officers will work the show, but said there were no issues getting the event staffed with off-duty officers.

The officers are paid $41 per hour to work events at the stadium, she said.

“There are two other events that day, but there was nothing unusual” about staffing for the Beyonce show, she said. “For the Monster Jam this year, we had some trouble filling (security posts) and for some of the Bucs games, toward the end of the season.”

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Cristal Bermudez Nunez said 68 sheriff’s personnel, including deputies, a K-9 officer and supervisors, will work the concert.

In the aftermath of her Super Bowl performance, many people praised Beyonce’s act and video for their “anti-police brutality” message. Others, like Tampa Police Benevolent Association president Vinny Gercitano, were disgusted.

The halftime show featured backup singers apparently dressed to pay homage to the Black Panthers, an armed group formed in the mid-1960s in California to fight black oppression and militantly monitor the police. The FBI considered the Black Panthers a terrorist group.

In a Facebook post after the Super Bowl, Gercitano characterized the singer’s message as “anti-police.” Gercitano urged officers to not purchase Beyonce’s music or tickets to her concerts, and supported any member who chose not to work the extra duty at Friday’s show.

He did not, however, call for a security boycott.

With security an apparent non-issue, all Beyonce’s fans might have to fret over on Friday is who, exactly, the singer is referring to in her new song “Sorry,” which refers to an apparent romantic rival: “Becky with the good hair.”

Copyright 2016 the Tampa Tribune

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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