- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 11, 2016

Following a string of fatal attacks on law enforcement officers this week, the National Sheriffs' Association is encouraging first responders and supporters to wear blue on Friday in a sign of solidarity.

Three sheriff’s deputies were fatally shot in two attacks in Colorado and Maryland on Wednesday, a Georgia police officer was killed by a wanted suspect Thursday, and North Dakota officials say a police officer shot during a Thursday morning standoff is not expected to survive his injuries.

In a statement issued Thursday, the National Sheriffs' Association encouraged law enforcement and supporters to wear or display blue on Friday and to participate in a nationwide moment of silence at 1 p.m Eastern time.

In its message about the fatal shootings, the association also expressed concern over what it deemed an “anti-police” message at the Super Bowl halftime show.

“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,” the statement read.

Singer Beyonce debuted her new song “Formation” at the halftime show in a routine complete with dancers outfitted in costumes reminiscent of the Black Panthers Party. Performance of the song, which carries a strong theme of black empowerment, has drawn sharp critiques from the likes of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who called it an “attack” on police officers, and from the New Jersey state troopers union, which in 1973 had a member slain by a former member of the Black Panthers.

Association president Jonathan Thompson said he isn’t trying to suggest there is any correlation between the law enforcement officers’ killings and Sunday’s performance, but he worries the message it sends is that “police are always wrong.”

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