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Randy Sutton

Randy Sutton

Randy Sutton is a 33-year law enforcement veteran, a trainer, and the national spokesman for The American Council on Public Safety. He served 10 years with the Princeton (N.J.) Police Department and 23 years with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, retiring at the rank of lieutenant. He is an author who has published multiple books on law enforcement.
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Patrol

Beyoncé's Super Bowl Activism Was Misguided

The greatest threat to young black people isn't the police.

February 09, 2016  |  by Marc Debbaudt, ADDA

Celebrities, by the very nature of the attention they attract, have built-in bully pulpits. They most often use them to shed light on honorable causes encompassing everything from disease and world hunger to animal rights and anti-bullying campaigns.

At times, however, their activism is misguided. A case in point is singer Beyoncé Knowles' controversial routine during Sunday's Super Bowl halftime show as detailed by CBS News.

Specifically, Ms. Knowles paid tribute to the violent Black Panther Party and Mario Woods, a man recently released from state prison, on parole for armed robbery, who used a knife to slash a random innocent person. As detailed in a piece by George Hofstetter, President of the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, the heavily bleeding victim called the police, who tracked Mr. Woods to a nearby street, where he refused to drop the knife, proclaiming to officers, "You better squeeze that ****and kill me." Only when Woods began walking, knife in hand, toward a crowd of bystanders did officers fire their weapons. Additionally, several of Beyoncé's dancers were pictured on Twitter holding signs that read, "Justice 4 Mario Woods."

The ADDA fully supports political speech and public activism; we practice it ourselves weekly with our well-read blog. However, if Beyoncé wants to move beyond the cheap and tawdry publicity hit, there is plenty of real ground to be covered.

Police officers are tasked with protecting residents and police shootings understandably attract intense attention. But when you look at the greatest threat to young black people, it isn't the police. It's black-on-black violence. Every weekend in Los Angeles, Oakland, Chicago, and Baltimore young black men are killing other young black men. The ADDA knows this because our membership works closely with the victims' families every single day as we prosecute those responsible.

How much would society benefit if celebrity activists such as Ms. Knowles used their bully pulpits to decry the violence that has been tragically routine for way too long in some communities? To protest the shootings where a toddler dies from an errant bullet, a teen is killed while being robbed of his shoes, or a young woman takes a bullet while diving on top of neighborhood children to protect them during a drive-by shooting?

Real solutions to real violence take more than a drive-by performance at a Super Bowl halftime show. But then again, real solutions probably don't garner headlines and sell albums.

Marc Debbaudt is President of the Association of Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys. He can be contacted at [email protected]. The view and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ADDA, which represents nearly 1,000 Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys.


Comments (7)

Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

SgtD @ 2/9/2016 4:46 PM

Sooo, let me see if I've got this message correctly: Ms.Knowles is encouraging/supporting violence/violent groups to stop violence???
Wonder how that's gonna work out...

Leonard Mather @ 2/9/2016 7:17 PM

Beyonce accepted this gig for $$$$ and to be seen dancing. People loved her sexy image, her moves and her dancers in choreography. That went over very well; it was "eye candy" for males. THAT WAS HER MAJOR INTEREST. Mario Woods and the Black Panthers, Black Power statistics (Horrifically incorrectly reported) were insignificant in fact, but nonetheless part of the show subliminally. In short, Beyonce's image, choreography and dancers became part of the "whole." Her advisers recommended the dedication to Mario; she wanted the gig; The show must go on. Truth, accuracy, and justice were NOT present this time. Money, advertising imagery, and winning the audience if black ne'er-do-wells happened. This whole operation proves the aphorism of PT Barnum: "A sucker is born every minute." Even on Superbowl Sunday.

John retired IA PD @ 2/9/2016 7:39 PM

What about the innocent victim of Mario Woods? Beyoncé had the opportunity to create unity, cooperation, and trust amongst the American people, but instead she chose to deepened that divide. Shame on you Beyoncé.

Lt @ 2/10/2016 8:07 AM

Shame on us for allowing these racist celebrities to make money off the loss of others. Police across the country should unite and refuse to work any of Beyoncé's concerts. Without Police, most venues cannot operate. Hit her and her husband where it hurts ($$). He just donated 1.5 million to "Black Lives Matter" to support their illegal operations and to deepen the divided as well.

Lt @ 2/10/2016 8:13 AM

Shame on us for allowing these racist celebrities to make money off the loss of others. Police across the country should unite and refuse to work any of Beyoncé's concerts. Without Police, most venues cannot operate. Hit her and her husband where it hurts ($$). He just donated 1.5 million to "Black Lives Matter" to support their illegal operations and to deepen the divided as well.

HRPurnstuf @ 2/10/2016 5:18 PM

Just another BlackLIESmatter exhibition. Nothing to see here, move along.

Linda Hall @ 2/11/2016 9:53 PM

7794 signatures / comments and counting. Please sign / share
the petition: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/no-mario-woods-remembrance-day
Thank you for your participation.

Join the Discussion





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