Miami-Dade County

Miami union boss offers Beyoncé ‘olive branch,’ but hasn’t backed down on boycott

Beyoncé performs Feb. 10 during halftime of the NFL Super Bowl 50 football game in Santa Clara, California.
Beyoncé performs Feb. 10 during halftime of the NFL Super Bowl 50 football game in Santa Clara, California. Associated Press

First it was an ultimatum. Now it’s an olive branch.

A week after Miami’s police union president urged police departments across the nation to follow his lead and boycott Beyoncé concerts, Javier Ortiz now wants to sit down with the pop icon and mend fences.

Speaking on Enrique Santos’ radio program on 98.3 FM this week, Ortiz said he’d like to talk with the musical superstar who has a sold-out concert April 27 at Marlins Park.

“I like her music. It’s the anti-police message we don’t like,” Ortiz said.

What he didn’t do: Rescind last week’s vote by Fraternal Order of Police members to boycott her concert by refusing to let officers work off-duty assignments outside the venue.

The union believes Beyoncé’s Super Bowl performance, which paid homage to the Black Panther movement, and her new Formation video are anti-police messages. Other departments across the country have taken note and intend to follow Miami’s lead.

In a brief press release on Thursday, Ortiz said he sent the 3-minute, 26-second video of his appearance on the radio program electronically to Beyoncé Knowles, one of the world’s most famous people.

“It’s a perfect time to have a conversation in order to rebuild the relationships between the community and law enforcement nationwide. Together, we can make a difference,” Ortiz wrote.

There was no word Thursday if Beyoncé had received the message.

The announcement last week of the FOP’s intentions to boycott the Miami show created a backlash, both in the halls of city government and nationwide. Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado said if Ortiz was on his staff he would have been suspended or punished. The city manager said he was looking into taking legal action. And the police department said the event would be covered by officers whether police union members showed up or not.

Ortiz’s stance on Beyoncé has also caught the attention of social media including the Black Lives Matter movement, a group that has repeatedly spoken out against him . And the Miami New Times reported Tuesday that a group identifying itself as part of the Anonymous hacking collective had posted Ortiz and his girlfriend’s personal information on social media sites.

Ortiz has been outspoken on social media the past few years. He supported the officer who gunned down 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland and officers in Missouri and New York whose altercations with unarmed black men ended in the men’s deaths.

Earlier this month after a woman named Claudia Castillo pulled over and reported a Miami-Dade police officer for driving over the speed limit, an incensed Ortiz made her cellphone number public and urged people to call her.

On the radio, Ortiz offered this: “The FOP doesn’t see white or black, we see blue. I just want to put out there, all lives matter.”

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