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Alton Sterling, Philando Castile & Dallas shootings: celebrities weigh-in on America’s violent week

beyonce

It has been a destructive, divisive week for America. In less than 72-hours, three incidents of gun violence — two by police officers and one against — have erupted across America’s Midwest, Deep South and Lone Star state respectively.

In the first incident on 5 July, Louisiana resident Alton Sterling succumbed to gunshot wounds after two police officers opened fire on him at point-blank range. Videos soon emerged of the incident on social media, and has since become one of the biggest news stories of the week.

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Less than 36-hours later, Philando Castile was shot by a police officer in Minnesota, after the car he was driving was pulled over at a traffic stop. Passenger and Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, live-streamed the incident to Facebook Live – a version of the video was uploaded to YouTube on the same day. The video (note, it contains disturbing footage) now has over 670 000 views.

And on 7 July, 11 Dallas police officers were injured (5 of which have since died) at a city centre protest rally against the above killings. According to police, two snipers opened fire at the event, which had around 100 Dallas police officers were on duty.

Social media — notably Twitter and Instagram — has been inundated with messages of support for those affected by the above incidents, and leading that charge were celebrities.

Twitter elite react to America’s tumultuous week

Celebrities voiced concern and condemned the Alton Sterling and Philando Castile shootings this week, with the likes of recording artists John Legend and Kanye West and actress Mia Farrow leading the conversation. Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders also weighed-in:

John Legend, actor Don Cheadle and other celebrities restated their views against gun violence at large after the Dallas shootings:

#Dallas and #PrayForAmerica are currently trending topics worldwide, in the US, and in South Africa on Twitter.

Beyond Twitter — personal statements and Instagram

Other celebrities, including Beyonce, issued a statement (feature image) on her personal website renouncing the “killings of young men and women in our communities”.

“Fear is not an excuse. Hate will not win,” she adds.

Recording artists Rihanna and Drake took to Instagram to voice their thoughts. Rihanna uploaded a video of a mother explaining the Alton Sterling shooting to children. The video has over 1.2-million views. Drake, however, issued a personal statement.

“No one begins life as a hashtag,” the Toronto-born rapper states, “yet the trend of being reduced to one continues”.

RIP Alton Sterling #howmanymore

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