Beyonce has added her voice to the many speaking out against the recent deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, releasing a powerful statement on her website urging others to take a stand.
“We are sick and tired of the killings of young men and women in our communities,” begins the statement released Thursday (July 7) on Beyonce’s website. “It is up to us to take a stand and demand that they ‘stop killing us.'”
The deaths of both Sterling and Castile have launched a series of protests, fueling the fire of the ongoing debate of the police’s treatment of black men. Cell phone footage saw 37-year-old Sterling shot and killed by two Baton Rouge, La., police officers after pinning him to the ground early Tuesday (July 5). The death has spurred a civil rights investigation by the Justice Department.
Castile, 32, was killed after a police officer opened fire on him during a traffic stop in Minnesota. The aftermath of the death was shown in a Facebook Live video shot by Castile’s girlfriend, who was a passenger in the vehicle.
“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,” Beyonce said in the statement.
“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 protest us should consistently go unpunished,” reads Beyonce’s statement. “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.”
She follows the statement with a call to action, urging readers to contact their local congressman or woman and providing links to voice protests to the deaths of Sterling and Castile.
See the full statement below.