Beyoncé has addressed the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile in a statement on her website.
Sterling and Castile were both shot dead by police in the past 48 hours, seemingly without cause.
In the post, entitled “Freedom,” the “Formation” singer decried “these robberies of lives” and urged followers to take action.
“We all have the power to channel our anger and frustration into action,” she wrote. “We must use our voices to contact the politicians and legislators in our districts and demand social and judicial changes.”
“We don’t need sympathy,” she added. “We need everyone to respect our lives.”
Sterling, 37, was killed on Tuesday outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge, where he sold CDs and DVDs. Security video showed two police officers pinning him down before he was shot. A coroner’s report showed he suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and back.
Then, yesterday, 32-year-old Philando Castile, was shot by an officer when he and his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, were pulled over for a traffic stop. Reynolds filmed his death on Facebook Live.
Beyonce’s post included links to members of Congress, the Louisiana legislature and the Minnesota representatives for Philando Castile. One site, Contacting the Congress, crashed soon after.
At a concert in Europe on Thursday, the names of hundreds of victims of police brutality—including Sterling and Castille—were streamed on the wall.
Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were the first names on the Black Lives Matter memoriam at Beyonce in Glasgow. pic.twitter.com/vrCiCtbPgc
— Nikki (@ohnikkers) July 7, 2016
Other notable personalities addressed the deaths, including Jussie Smollett.
— Jussie Smollett (@JussieSmollett) July 7, 2016
It is imperative in the face of racial injustice and slaughter that people of all races speak out and decry the system. #SilenceEqualsDeath
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) July 7, 2016
and journalist Jonathan Capehart.
As every African American knows: a routine traffic stop is never routine when you’re black. https://t.co/QYwiq32QcA
— Jonathan Capehart (@CapehartJ) July 7, 2016
President Obama will address the shootings this evening in a press conference.
Below is the full text of Beyoncé’s statement:
We are sick and tired of the killings of young men and women in our communities.
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.
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.
These robberies of lives make us feel helpless and hopeless but we have to believe that we are fighting for the rights of the next generation, for the next young men and women who believe in good.
This is a human fight. No matter your race, gender or sexual orientation. This is a fight for anyone who feels marginalized, who is struggling for freedom and human rights.
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.
Fear is not an excuse. Hate will not win.
We all have the power to channel our anger and frustration into action. We must use our voices to contact the politicians and legislators in our districts and demand social and judicial changes.
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.