A Detroit police sergeant is the subject of an internal investigation after posting a controversial photo on his Facebook page referencing Beyonce’s Super Bowl performance.
The superstar’s February 7 performance has sparked widespread debate and even a protest scheduled to take place Tuesday, February 16, outside of the NFL Network’s offices in New York.
But many Detroit police officers and the city’s chief of police believe that the sergeant’s racially charged post went too far.
The post, which has since been removed from the social media site, featured a split photo comparison.
The top photo, taken on the day of the Super Bowl, shows a handful of Beyonce’s 50 backup dancers in the costumes they wore during the halftime performance: black unitards with black berets -- the iconic chapeau of the activist party, the Black Panthers. In the photo, dancers pose with their fists in the air, presumably to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party.
But it’s the second photo that has generated the most concern. The bottom photo features a group of Ku Klux Klan members in their infamous all-white uniform.
The sergeant included a message with the photo. It read: "If the dance troupe at the top is okay for this year's half-time show, then the one at the bottom should be okay for next years', right?"
Chief James Craig told WJBK-TV that his department is taking the post seriously.
“It concerns us,” he told the news station Wednesday.
Craig noted that though the sergeant in question has since retracted the post and replaced it with an apology, the original post was still unacceptable.
"We work in a city that is certainly well over 80 percent African-American, and to post something that has to do with a hate group like the Ku Klux Klan is problematic,” he said.
Craig said that after the photo was first posted, he received calls “indirect and direct from employees throughout the organization” who took issue with it.
Detroit police have since launched an internal investigation looking into the sergeant and his post.
"Certainly this does not and shouldn't represent our police officers,” he said.
But there are still some who sympathize with the sentiment expressed in the sergeant’s contentious post.
Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, who is black, rebuked Beyonce’s half-time show in an interview with the Fox Business Network Monday.
"Would it be acceptable if a white band came out in hoods and white sheets in the same sort of fashion?" Clarke asked. "We would be appalled and outraged … I think she could have done a better job."
Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani also condemned the star’s performance.
“I thought it was really outrageous that she used it as a platform to attack police officers, who are the people who protect her and protect us and keep us alive,” Giuliani said during a “Fox & Friends” segment on Monday morning.
The investigation -- and the possible discipline that may follow -- remains to be determined by the Detroit Police Department.
Watch the local report: