The Beyoncé Question: Is Law Enforcement Sanctimonious?


Beyoncé’s Super Bowl performance has angered several law enforcement agencies, most notably the New York City Police Department. Do they have any validity for their complaint?

The truth is, ‘no.’ Law enforcement has failed to ‘police’ itself or accept reality regarding the use of excessive and lethal force against black Americans. In 2015 more cases of unlawful death were reported than I can remember. Not a single individual in authority was prosecuted as the ‘murderous’ action by law enforcement escalated.

If those in power refuse to acknowledge miscarriage of justice among their own ranks, someone must keep the issue at the forefront of society.

We cannot rely on the media to focus on this issue; unless the incident is ‘newsworthy’ no report is available to the public.

Around the nation, law enforcement has claimed that her performance is “inciting bad behavior” and is “putting the lives of law enforcement officers at risk”.

Is it possible that she was simply creating awareness of an on-going problem, and the refusal of those in authority to rectify the situation?

By mid-November 2015, at least 1,000 black men and women had been killed by law enforcement. The federal government fails to keep statistics regarding Americans who suffer death at the hands of law enforcement, or the reason or cause of each death. Statistics rely on reports in local publications.

Black Lives Matter has been demeaned by the right wing and law enforcement. FOX Noise’ Bill O’Reilly has made it a personal vendetta.

Without BLM, who will speak for the black community? The media, nor the authorities, seem to have any concern regarding the issue.

Celebrities are often credited with an assist regarding social injustice. At the end of last year, before the Super Bowl, director Quentin Tarantino was attacked by law enforcement and the right wing for his recognition of this serious American problem.

Those in authority are joining members of our federal government in attempts to repeal another section of the first amendment; free speech. So why hasn’t the media been more aggressive regarding this deplorable situation?

The answer is simple. Old movies depicting reporters chasing down leads, or harassing government officials to find the truth does not exist today. They report what they are told, and if they offend those in power, their sources ‘dry-up.’

The freedom of the American people is in jeopardy. Efforts are underway to either revise or revoke much of the Bill of Rights. The only amendment protected by conservatives is the second, and that’s only because the NRA gun lobby spends millions of dollars buying their support in the form of campaign contributions.

Those in authority cannot continue to have it one way. Many law enforcement officers are culpable, but none pay the price. The entire criminal justice system must be revised. Its problems did not begin in 2015; these same situations existed when I was attending a mixed-race high school in Los Angeles in the early 1960’s. However, there is a difference today; everyone has a camera at the ready. It’s no longer a situation of ‘his word against yours.’ But that hasn’t changed the way the system works. Although they may be guilty of a crime, an officer of the law remains protected by his peers.


By James Turnage


Photo Courtesy of celebrityabc

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