In the wake of the police killing of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Tuesday, many stars have taken to social media
to express their frustration, outrage and sadness over the shooting death, which was caught on camera and is being currently investigated by federal authorities.
In an open letter posted to Instagram on Wednesday, rapper Drake addressed the killing, writing, "Last night when I saw the video of Alton Sterling being killed it left me feeling disheartened, emotional, and truly scared. I woke up this morning with a strong need to same something."
"It's impossible to ignore that the relationship between black and brown communities and law enforcement remains as strained as it was decades ago," he continued. "No one begins their lives as a hashtag. Yet the trend of being reduced to one continues."
Drake went on to share that he's "concerned for the safety of my family, my friends and any human being that could fall victim to this pattern," and said that he believes "honest dialogue is the first step" towards change.
The shooting occurred outside a liquor store after an anonymous caller reported seeing a black man threatening someone with a fire arm outside the location, where he was selling homemade CDs, CBS News reports.
As seen in the videos captured by witnesses to the killing, Sterling, 37, was pinned to the ground by two officers, identified by Baton Rouge Police as Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II. One officer can be heard telling Sterling not to move before shouting, "Gun!"
Police shot Sterling, while he was on the ground, numerous times. According to store owner Abdullah Muflahi, Sterling was first tasered and then tackled to the ground by police, before being fatally shot.
Muflahi told CBS News that Sterling didn't appear to have a gun in his hand when police tackled him, but he says he saw police remove a gun from his pocket after the shooting.
"Look I erased 5 drafts. I didn't even wanna watch this edit of this execution. But I'm just numb. And tired. And f**king angry. And scared. And mad. And boiling. And really really really really really tired of turning our collective bruised cheek. Just. F**king. Tired. #AltonSterling," Questlove captioned his post.
"1) In the interest of time, would ye noble patriots please provide a list of infractions punishable by spontaneous public execution? Thanks!" Williams wrote in a series of posts. " 2) Upon receipt of this list, we'll return to our quarters and study up, eager to enjoy freedoms of white mass murders. #LIFEHACK. 3) You chumps will NEVER provide this list... We see through you."
Underground star Jurnee Smollett-Bell expressed the heartache felt by many who saw the video of Sterling being shot, tweeting, "If you can watch that video & not feel sorrow and pain for #AltonSterling's children, then you're not human."
A number of other celebrities and politicians, including presumptive Democratic nominee for president Hillary Clinton, echoed the pain and outrage Sterling's death has elicited.