Beyoncé has released a powerful call to action, issuing a rare statement which condemns police brutality and calls for action following the recent deaths of black men Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, who were shot and killed by police in America over two consecutive days.
37-year-old Sterling was killed in Louisiana on Tuesday, while 32-year-old Castile was shot as he reached for his wallet during a traffic stop in Minnesota on Wednesday.
Today, Beyoncé has published a statement to her website titled ‘Freedom’ (after the name of a song on her latest album Lemonade). In the statement, which can be read in full below, Beyoncé says, “It is up to us to take a stand and demand that they ‘stop killing us.’
“We don’t need sympathy. We need everyone to respect our lives,” she writes.
“We’re going to stand up as a community and fight against anyone who believes that murder or any violent action by those who are sworn to protect us should consistently go unpunished.
“This is not a plea to all police officers but toward any human being who fails to value life. The war on people of color and all minorities needs to be over.
“While we pray for the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, we will also pray for an end to this plague of injustice in our communities.”
Accompanying her ‘Freedom’ statement, Beyoncé provides links to websites where individuals can contact their local Congressman or Congresswoman, as well as places where they can voice concerns over the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philano Castile.
“We all have the power to channel our anger and frustration into action,” she says. “We must use our voices to contact the politicians and legislators in our districts and demand social and judicial changes.”
What’s more, Beyoncé momentarily paused her show in Glasgow, Scotland, overnight to honour victims of police brutality. She displayed a list of victims’ names while Freedom played in the background, and below the names were the words “And Countless Others”. Catch photos and video from the concert, below.
Beyoncé’s ‘Freedom’ statement comes after Drake shared a moving open letter about the death of Alton Sterling earlier this week.
Read Beyoncé’s ‘Freedom’ statement below, alongside images from her Glasgow concert.
— Will (@wlhrtz) July 7, 2016