On Monday, Rutherford County Sheriff Robert Arnold said that shots fired outside his home in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, may have been due to Beyoncé's Super Bowl halftime show. Several shots were heard (and six bullets were later found on the ground), and Sheriff Arnold told his family to get on the floor. He says when he looked outside, he saw a grey Nissan Altima drive off. No one was hurt. After the incident, Sheriff Arnold reported that he instantly thought of Beyoncé's video, and he called a press conference to discuss it:
That’s actually what I thought about. Once I kind of figured everything out, you know, with everything since the half[time show] at the Super Bowl and with law enforcement as a whole. I mean I think we've lost five to seven officers. Five deputy chairs since Sunday’s Super Bowl. You know that’s what I'm thinking, you know, here’s another target on law enforcement... you have Beyonce's video and how that's kind of bled over into other things it seems like about law enforcement.
Some law enforcement agencies and former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani have stated that Beyonce's song "Formation" and her halftime show, which featured berets and salutes reminiscent of the Black Panther party, were an attack on police officers, and some concerned citizens even spent their valuable time on an anti-Beyoncé protest. The music video released for the song also contained themes and imagery of a flooded New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and Beyoncé on the roof of a submerged police car.
Sheriff Arnold clarified his remarks in an email on Tuesday:
My comments reflect the violence and senseless killing of seven deputies in the U.S. since the show aired. My comments are an observation of the violence that has occurred but in no way is meant to offend anyone.
There have been five police officers shot dead by criminals since the Super Bowl (two died in a helicopter crash, which may be where Arnold got his figure). Almost all were responding to calls of armed individuals or serving "no-knock" warrants.
Arnold's email also included a link to The National Sheriff's Association's website with the following information: "The senseless killing of four law enforcement officers just this week — on the heels of the anti-police “entertainment” at the Sunday Super Bowl halftime show — reminds us that the men and women in law enforcement take a solemn oath that includes putting their lives on the line every day to protect our citizens."