A sheriff in Tennessee insinuated that Beyoncé's "Say it loud, I'm black and I'm proud" performance at the Super Bowl is inspiring violence against law enforcement, NBC News reports. (She didn't perform the James Brown song, but that was essentially the inspiration.)
"With everything that's happened since the Super Bowl, and with law enforcement as a whole, I think we've lost five to seven officers, five deputies, sheriffs since the Super Bowl," Rutherford County Sheriff Robert Arnold said during a press conference. "Here's another target on law enforcement."
He didn't offer up any quantitative data showing an uptick in violence against law enforcement since the Super Bowl, but Arnold didn't let that get in the way of his argument. "Well, you have Beyoncé's video and how that's kind of bled over into other things, it seems, like about law enforcement," he continued.
After no doubt getting a ton of backlash about connecting Beyoncé to the killings, Arnold sent an email backpedaling from his insinuation a bit, but not much.
He said he was trying to "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."
Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele is a staff writer at The Root and the founder and executive producer of Lectures to Beats, a Web series that features video interviews with scarily insightful people. Follow Lectures to Beats on Facebook and Twitter.