Kanye West has now also addressed the fatal shooting of a Louisiana father-of-five on social media.
Drake has called for an end to America’s police brutality “cycle of violence”, in an emotional letter posted to Instagram following the police killing of 37-year-old Alton Sterling. Sterling, a black Louisiana resident, died of multiple gun shot wounds on Tuesday at the hands of two white Baton Rouge police officers. The killing has sparked outrage, after a graphic video was posted to social media of the altercation that led to his death.
“It’s impossible to ignore that the relationship between black and brown communities and law enforcement remains as strained as it was decades ago,” writes Drake in the letter. “No one begins their life as a hashtag, yet the trend of being reduced to one continues.”
“This is real and I’m concerned, concerned for the safety of my family, my friends, and any human being who could fall victim to this pattern,” continues the letter, which was posted last night as protests continued in Baton Rouge, with chants of “no justice, no peace” and “black lives matter”. Read it in full below.
Sterling, 37, was reportedly selling CDs outside a store when he was gunned down by law enforcement officers. A police statement said officers were called to the eastern part of the city after receiving a call from someone who reported being threatened with a gun by a man in a red T-shirt. Video shot by a community activist – who released the video only after police failed to, claiming that both officers’ body cameras “fell off” before the incident – shows Sterling being wrestled to the ground by two police officers and then shot. A post-mortem examination showed that Sterling died of wounds to the chest and back.
Kanye West has since tweeted a link to the graphic video, while Public Enemy’s Chuck D yesterday criticised the “sick sport of police brutality” in a tweet and attacked CNN for failing to cover the incident. Wiz Khalifa posted: “Only reason #AltonSterling isn’t on CNN, they still looking for a photo of him with a gun.”