Beyoncé is adding her voice to the chorus speaking against the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. The singer posted an open letter on her website on Thursday and held a moment of silence for the two men at her concert in Glasgow, Scotland.
“We are sick and tired of the killings of young men and women in our community. It’s up to us to take a stand and demand that they ‘stop killing us,’” reads a statement from Beyoncé.
The shooting deaths of both men at the hands of police officers has fueled outrage over the treatment of African-Americans by law enforcement across the country.
Castile, a 34-year-old public school employee, was shot by a police officer during a traffic stop in Minnesota on Wednesday. Sterling, a 37-year-old father of five, was shot and killed by officers in Louisiana a day earlier. Both incidents were captured on cell phone cameras.
“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 in to protect us should consistently go unpunished,” Beyoncé’s statement continues.
The singer’s website letter echos her references to police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement in her 2016 album and film, “Lemonade.”
The statement ends with a call to action: “We must use our voices to contact the politicians and representatives in our districts and demand social and judicial changes.”
The singer paid tribute to both slain men at her concert in Glasgow, Scotland, on Thursday night.
“Ladies and gentlemen please join me in a moment’s silence to acknowledge the lives of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile,” Beyoncé said. On a giant screen behind her, Sterling and Castile’s names appeared first in a list of names of people killed by police.
Gavin Dutton, a Beyoncé superfan who said he is traveling the United Kingdom and Ireland to go to every concert on the singer’s tour, said he could feel the hairs stand up on the back of his neck during the emotional tribute.
Beyoncé then began to sing “Freedom,” a song she wrote with Kendrick Lamar and others.
Other stars weigh in
Other artists addressing this week’s shooting deaths included musician John Legend, “Selma” director Ava DuVernay, and “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Actress Issa Rae started a GoFundMe campaign to benefit Sterling’s children that raised more than $450,000 in one day.