local cops protested beyoncé’s hometown show
Many police took part in a silent demonstration outside the NRG Stadium and flooded the building in blue light.
Image via Instagram
Considering the massive acclaim Beyoncé's visual album Lemonade has met in recent weeks, you would have expected a lot of love when she returned to Houston, her hometown, during the latest leg of her Formation Tour. Instead, amid the fanfare she was met with a silent protest outside the NRG Stadium by members of the Pasadena Police Department and the Coalition for Police and Sheriffs. They shone a blue light at the stadium and some wore "Police Lives Matter" T-shirts.
The protest follows murmurs that her "Formation" video and following Super Bowl performance were "anti-police." Beyonce has critiqued police brutality in her work: "Formation's" video included imagery of a young child standing up to a barricade of armed cops, graffiti reading "stop killing us," and a shot of the singer on a sinking police car.
Her Super Bowl performance costumes referenced the iconic look of 1970s Black Panthers. The Lemonade film also featured the mothers of Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin — two black men whose deaths at the hands of police were triggers for the Black Lives Matter movement.
This isn't the first issue Beyoncé has had with the cops on the current tour; the Tampa Police Department reportedly struggled to find volunteers to work security for a local show in April. The singer artfully responded to that backlash through her line of "Boycott Beyoncé" tour merch.
In a recent interview with Elle, Beyoncé clarified that she does respects police officers and their work but explained: "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."
Text Wendy Syfret
Image via Instagram