Detroit Police Sergeant Under Investigation After Criticism of Beyonce’s Superbowl Performance

BPowerLogoThere is a free speech controversy brewing out of Detroit where an unnamed police sergeant is under investigation for expressing his opinion about the controversial Beyonce performance in the halftime show of the Superbowl. Beyonce dressed herself and her dancers like Black Panthers and formed a X in an apparent reference to Malcolm X. Police around the country objected to the glorification of an organization that has advocated violence against police. The sergeant compared the performance to one featuring the KKK on Facebook and is now facing possible discipline.

I have previously written about concerns that public employees are increasingly being disciplined for actions in their private lives or views or associations outside of work. We have previously seen teachers, students and other public employees fired for their private speech or conduct, including school employees fired for posing in magazines, appearing on television shows in bikinis, or having a career in the adult entertainment industry.

In this case, the sergeant posted a photo of Beyonce’s dancers above a group wearing white Ku Klux Klan robes and wrote: “So if the dance troupe at the top is ok for this years’ halftime show, then the one at the bottom should be ok for next years’, right?”

UnknownThe sergeant’s point does not appear to advocate that the KKK should be in the next show but rather to raise the comparative question of why the Black Panthers are permissible as a model while the KKK is not. One can clearly disagree with the comparison but it is an example of pure political and social speech by someone in their personal time. He was reported by his co-workers to Police Chief James Craig. However, the objection is to the sergeant’s political views — views that reflect the overwhelming anger of police organizations toward Beyonce who they view as relying on police protection at her events but glorifies an anti-police organization.

As in the earlier cases, these investigations create an intended chilling effect on employees who are less likely to speak their views outside of work. I am not sure why this matter was not addressed as an exercise of free speech by the department. What is most disturbing is the lack of a clear line as to the extent to which officers and other public employees are allowed to engage in free speech in their private lives. This investigation would seem to convey that you speak your mind at your own peril.

54 thoughts on “Detroit Police Sergeant Under Investigation After Criticism of Beyonce’s Superbowl Performance”

  1. It’s Freedom of Speech by this government official as long as it doesn’t involve unlawful “police stalking” which will likely be the result involving several police agencies. This comment, by a government official, will
    likely result in widespread police corruption of Beyoncé everywhere she travels – a clear violation of the First Amendment in retaliation for her legal constitutional exercise.

    Instead of fitting a crime to a person as required by the Bill of Rights, police will likely try to fit a person to a crime or expose embarrassing (but legal) information to defame someone. Of course in this game it’s hard to prove the unlawful police stalking or find a watchdog to enforce it even if you could prove it. I’m not aware of a single Internal Affairs Unit in any police locality or state police IA unit that polices unconstitutional “police stalking” or blacklisting. Only the DOJ does this and has limited resources to police corrupt localities.

    The most famous Black Panthers case was probably the “Fred Hampton” case. In this case the FBI engineered an assassination of a Black Panther leader using local police and prosecutors. In other words government officials committing felony crimes to silence legal First Amendment exercises by people they simply disliked.

  2. This is an example of senior police management protecting itself while throwing subordinate officers under the bus. It doesn’t matter so much the officer’s free speech rights, it is the optics of the issue and management is trying to either cover its own image or trying to portray itself in a favorable light before the public and political officials.

  3. The NFL has let the dogs run wild, including their b*tches at the half time show.

  4. bettykath and Rick
    The FBI has a long long history of infiltrating groups, inciting them to commit acts of violence and terror and then sneaking out when the arrests are made. Local cops & sheriffs do it too.

    If you want to look for the REAL false flag operations, forget about 9/11 and Newtown, just look at the FBI, NYPD, LA County Sheriffs, Baltimore PD and so on. Black Panthers, SDS, VietNam antiwar movement, all the way up to BLM and the Occupy Movement.

  5. bettykath
    The FBI and the cops infiltrated the organization and murdered the leaders and others to kill the movement.

    It seems revealing to admit the organization wasn’t rejected because it murdered people (including supporters) but rather because the leaders who committed such acts were no longer available.

  6. Remember Deep Throat’s advice: “Follow the money!”

    In this case, I estimate local LEO overtime for the Super Bowl in the range of several million USD. My friend made good money working security at that event. The irony and hypocrisy here is the police being happy to cash their considerable OT checks (estimate $50+/hour) while complaining about the “politics” of the performance for which they worked.

    Re. that putrid excuse for a “performance.” I respectfully suggest it is more accurately defined as indoctrination and/or appeasement. By this I mean the performance was to make blacks enslaved on TPTB “plantation” wrongly perceive TPTB give a hoot about them. The truth is TPTB care as little for blacks or any other group as they don’t care for whites or any other perceived majority. In this case, the only majority that matters is money.

    It’s all about the money, which equals power. Great Britain Judaic Banker Barron von Rothschild: “Give me control of a nation’s money supply and I care not who passes its laws.”

  7. Political free speech has always drifted into song. Protect it.
    Political free speech by a an off-duty public servant. Protect it, too.
    Political free speech by a public servant speaking for himself. Protect it.
    Just like
    Religious free speech has always drifted into song. Protect it.
    Religious free speech by a an off-duty public servant. Protect it, too.
    Religious free speech by a public servant speaking for himself. Protect it.

  8. Speaking of white thugs, I’m happy to report that the FBI has finally arrested the criminal seditionist Cliven Bundy, and they are hopefully going to clear out the rest of the bozo criminals from the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. It’s a good day for justice in America.

    1. phillyT – did you see that the Malheur group is asking for the same sentence as the Ferguson group?

  9. Good to know bettykath you reason the two sheriff deputies killed in the Panera restaurant shooting yesterday is morally justified. I would like to know from you what this Detroit Police Officer said that is racist?

  10. To borrow another quote from Malcolm this is all about the chickens coming home to roost.

    Read the justice department report on Ferguson, the decades of police harassment, targeted ticketing of blacks, funding municipal coffers with fines specifically targeting that community. Add to that the documented racial profiling, the “nickel rides”, the beatings, the shootings, the redlining, the Jim Crow laws, and so on, ad nauseum. Now we all have cell phones and it is documented that what the black community has been saying for decades turns out to be all true.

    Clean up your own house officer, and then come back and complain about Beyoncé.

    We see videos every day of overweight armed white thugs in Oregon and elsewhere and that’s just 2A patriots exercising their rights. But put up a Black Panther and Oh My God Scary Black Man With A Gun!!!

    Freaking hypocrites.

  11. “Black Power would not exist were it not for White Power. Beyonce now, Beyonce tomorrow and Beyonce forever.” – Linnchainey

    Cops regularly kill Blacks now as they did then. The Black Panthers were in response to the oppression at the time. The FBI and the cops infiltrated the organization and murdered the leaders and others to kill the movement. Cops got away with murder then as they do now.

    Cop should be able to say what he wants but then he should be put on short lease. If he exhibits his racist views on the job he should be fired, maybe charged depending on how he exhibits his bias.

  12. Someone is clearly hyper-sensitive. Beyonce and her dancers crossed a line and the police at the show turned their backs on her. Why is this any different?

  13. Freedom is just another word. Nothing else to lose. Lose it and you ain’t free. One word, three letters, set the fire raging. It was KKK. But Black Power would not exist were it not for White Power. Beyonce now, Beyonce tomorrow and Beyonce forever.

  14. Beyonce and her idiot husband are the new darlings. To criticize them is verboten! What about the historical STUPIDITY of linking Malcolm X w/ the Black Panthers??

  15. The police should be neutral and non discriminating. There is an exchange of personal rights and positions when one enters into public service as an instrument of the law, unbiased, blind, and without baggage. Mindlessly adhering to rights is one way to lose them.

  16. Freedom of so each should be cherished by minorities but this doesn’t seem to be the case. It is short sighted and dangerous.

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