Controversy continues ahead of Beyonce's concert at Marlins Park

Hospitality Workers Union says it welcomes singer despite police union backlash

By Hatzel Vela - Reporter

MIAMI - The Hospitality Workers Union, which represents thousands of workers in South Florida and hundreds of workers at Marlins Park, says it welcomes Beyoncé who will be performing there next month, despite outrage by the Miami Fraternal Order of Police.

"As an African-American woman born and raised here in Overtown, this is personal to me," Hospitality Workers Union Vice President Kandiz Lamb said.

Meanwhile. Miami police union President Javier Ortiz told members of his organization last month not to volunteer to work the April show, claiming that Beyonce was dividing Americans and sending an anti-police message by promoting the Black Panthers.

The controversy stems from Beyonce's formation video, in which a young boy wearing a hoodie is dancing before police officers in riot fear.

The words "stop shooting us" then appear.

Beyonce's performance at the Super Bowl halftime show also sparked outrage from officers, after they saw dancers, who are said to be wearing Black Panther-like costumes.

Ortiz issued a statement Thursday saying, "Plenty of black police officers have been killed throughout the years and the #BlackLivesMatter movement has been silent. Don't their lives count?"

But Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado and Miami Police Chief Rudy Llanes maintain that security will be in place whether the police union likes it or not.

"The police department is not boycotting the event," Llanes said, clarifying that the boycott is a police union plan and not a police department plan. "The event is going to go on and we're going to police the event."

"I do know that the only role of the city of Miami and the police department is to protect the people at the concert and that is going to happen," Regalado said.

Beyonce's concert is scheduled for April 27.

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