Beyoncé performed a hometown concert in Houston, Texas on Saturday (May 7th) as part of her Formation World Tour. Though she drew thousands of adoring fans to the show, she was also greeted with a silent protest by the police, as BBC Newsbeat reports.
Members of the Pasadena Police Department and the Coalition for Police and Sheriffs (COPS) delivered their protest a mile from the city’s NRG Stadium where Beyoncé was performing. The group shone a blue light at the stadium and wore t-shirts emblazoned with the words “Police Lives Matter”.
Speaking to local news station KHOU11, COPS member Tony Ragsdale explained that the group took offense to shots of a New Orleans police car sinking in floodwater in Beyoncé’s video for “Formation”. “Some of her performances we believe to be anti-police,” he said.
Those performances include her appearance at the Super Bowl earlier this year, where she played the single while wearing a Black Panther-inspired costume. Following the show, police unions attempted to organise an anti-Beyoncé rally in New York – not that anyone showed up.
In April, Beyonce explained to Elle that she is protesting police injustice rather than attacking police officers themselves. “I have so much admiration and respect for officers and the families of the officers who sacrifice themselves to keeps us safe,” she said. “But let’s be clear, I am against police brutality and injustice. Those are two separate things. If celebrating my roots and culture during Black History Month made anyone uncomfortable, those feelings were there long before a video and long before me.”