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Celebrities are speaking out about the ongoing protests happening across the country following the tragic death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Minneapolis man who died after a police officer held him down by the neck with his knee for more than seven minutes.
Four officers were fired last month for their roles in the incident, and Derek Chauvin -- who was videotaped holding Floyd down by the neck with his knee -- was taken into custody by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington stated, per CBS News. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Nicki Minaj spoke out about the killing, the discrepancy in prosecutorial justice between cops and civilians, and strongly encouraged her fans to get involved in the fight for change.
"When 4 black THUGS commit a crime, if 1 person commits murder, they ALL get charged & CONVICTED. When white THUGS/COPS KILL innocent black people, ALL 4 of them are responsible‼️‼️‼️ They all watched an unarmed man die and did nothing‼️ Why do they have different rules?????" Minaj wrote, alongside a snapshot of a protest sign which recounted the last words of a number of black men and women who have been killed by police officers in recent years.
"Let your voice be heard. Be angry. White people have been using violence against us since the beginning of time. We didn’t invent violence & looting," she continued. "Will these officers actually get convicted? Probably not. Let your voice be heard. Call & TEXT to be a part of these petitions. May Mr. Floyd Rest In Peace."
Tyler Perry also weighed in on the protests and said that he's been using his platform and his position to try and enact legislation and change. He also revealed that he'd spoken to Floyd's family and "tried to speak comfort in this moment."
"I have to tell you -- they are adamant in their call for peaceful protest," Perry added.
Britney Spears, meanwhile, shared a message of support and unity, writing, "What the world needs now is love."
"My heart breaks for my friends in the black community …. and for everything going on in our country. Right now I think we all should do what we can to listen …. learn … do better …. and use our voices for good," Spears added, before expressing her support for the Blackout Tuesday initiative.
Serena Williams shared a heartbreaking video of a young girl in tears asking why she, and so many other black Americans, are treated differently because of the color of their skin.
"I can't and still can’t find the words to say or express how sad I feel.... but she found them for me," Williams captioned the post. "She found them for so many of us. A lot of us are numb... lost for words... I know I am. This is a difficult time."
"A lot of us growing up were taught to pray 'Let thy kingdom come,' this is what I continue to pray for in addition to so many that have been hurt/killed, or simply traumatized by how people of a different color are treated," she added. "The worst part is this is nothing new, 'it’s just filmed' I'm with a heavy heart. I’m lost for words."
Lorde, meanwhile, released a newsletter to her fans, focusing on why she was standing in solidarity with the black community.
Paris Hilton was one of many celebs who took to Instagram to discuss the importance in speaking up to empower change. "Changes need to be made & it starts from us," she explained. "There is no time better than now to use our platform for awareness & justice. Let us all be part of the change."
Ellen DeGeneres voiced her support for demonstrators, tweeting, "I support the protestors who are exercising their rights and standing up against the horrible injustices that Black people in America face everyday."
Rihanna, meanwhile, penned a lengthy post about the killing of Floyd, and the agony of his death has caused the nation.
"For the last few days, the magnitude of devastation, anger, sadness I’ve felt has been overwhelming to say the least! Watching my people get murdered and lynched day after day pushed me to a heavy place in my heart," the singer wrote. "If intentional MURDER is the fit consequence for “drugs” or “resisting arrest”....then what’s the fit consequence for MURDER???! #GeorgeFloyd #AhmaudArbery #BreonnaTaylor."
Kris Jenner voiced her support for protesters and Black Lives Matter demonstrations, writing on Instagram, "The murder of George Floyd is heartbreaking and infuriating, and today I reflect not only on this senseless killing, but also on the indignity and injustice that black men, women and children are facing today, and have faced for many decades in this country."
"Our nation has failed to love, protect and fight for the rights of black Americans, and we must come together today, now, in this moment. We must have peace and we must have unity. We must have change," she continued. "I encourage you to reflect today on how you can use your voice and your privilege to help those who deserve the equality, respect and justice that they have been stripped of and denied for far too long. I will be doing the very same. Let’s come together and demand deep and significant change."
Khloe Kardashian also spoke out on social media, vowing to use her "privilege" to fight for the black community.
Jennifer Lopez posted a message early Sunday asking her followers, "How can anyone say they love this country and not do something when they see lives cut short because of the color of their skin?," she wrote.
Lady Gaga took to Instagram late Saturday to share a powerful message.
"I have a lot of things to say about this, but the first thing I want to say is I'm afraid to say anything that will incite further anger, although that is precisely the emotion that's justified. I do not wish to contribute to more violence, I wish to contribute a solution. I am as outraged by the death of George Floyd as I have been by the deaths of exponentially too many black lives over hundreds of years that have been taken from us in this country as a result systemic racism and the corrupt systems that support it."
Billie Eilish posted a lengthy message expressing her frustration over the situation.
"I've been trying to take this week to figure out a way to address this delicately," Eilish began her post. "I have an enormous platform and I try really hard to be respectful and take time to think through what I say and how I say it...But holy f---ing shit I'm gonna just start talking."
Selena Gomez also expressed her heartbreak over the matter. "I have spent the last 24 hours just trying to process this all. Nothing anyone says can take back what has happened. But we can and must all make sure to take action," she wrote. "Too many black lives have been taken from us for far too long. They deserve better. They deserve to be heard. We all need to do better and not sit in silence as this injustice continues."
Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama released statements on Friday concerning Floyd's death.
"We all witnessed his murder in broad daylight. We're broken and we're disgusted. We cannot normalize this pain," Beyoncé also said in a passionate video. "I'm not only speaking to people of color. If you're white, black, brown, or anything in-between, I'm sure you feel hopeless about the racism going on in America right now."
Meanwhile, Jamie Foxx went to Minneapolis and spoke out in support of protesters.
"All I wanted to do is let you know that we're not afraid to stand...we're not afraid of the moment," he said. "At the end of the day, when we see you guys on the frontline, we want to let you know you got support."
On Twitter, Cardi B shared in a video that even though the current protests in Minneapolis "scared" her, she can't say she's against them.
"People are tired, so now they're tired of showing ...'Oh, mother f**kers are educated, mother f**kers could take the grown and adult way and can act peaceful.' People are tired of that, so now this is what people have to resort to," she wrote.
Chris Evans tweeted on Friday, "I keep saying to myself 'my god, what is happening?'. But in truth, I'm not shocked. At all. If you're shocked, you haven't been paying attention."
Ariana Grande tweeted, "Please keep signing these petitions, making donations, having conversations w family and friends about it, reading and sharing links and resources... gentle reminder that this doesn't end today or tomorrow or after you post about it once. #blacklivesmatter."
Some celebrities -- like Taylor Swift -- directly called out President Donald Trump for his tweet about the protests in Minneapolis on Thursday, which read in part, "These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won't let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!"
Mandy Moore tweeted, "I am at a loss for words at the President advocating for violence against American citizens. If you haven’t, please register to vote. Make sure your friends and family have too. Vote him out."
Ava DuVernay tweeted a video of CNN reporter Omar Jimenez getting arrested while covering the protests, writing, "My eyes welled with tears viewing this. It shows a turning point in the war that Trump is waging. That’s not hyperbole. Destabilizing the election. Press freedoms compromised. Steel yourself. Expect more of this. Then ask yourself: what will you do?"
Read more celebrity reactions below:
Taylor Swift Slams Donald Trump Amid Protesting in Minneapolis
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