On Tuesday, July 5, Alton Sterling, 37, was repeatedly shot and killed by officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Sterling, a father of five, was one of more than 100 black men to have been shot and killed by police in 2016, Time magazine reports.
Shortly after Sterling was killed, a horrific video of the incident appeared online. In it, an officer is seen tackling Sterling to the ground. While the two struggle, a second officer pins Sterling down. After more squirming, an officer can be heard saying "he's got a gun," at which point the officers draw their own guns and shoot Sterling in the back at close range, twice. As the camera cuts away, an additional four shots can be heard as they are fired off.
According to the New York Times, Sterling was selling homemade CDs in front of a convenience store when police showed up responding to a call about an armed man.
The shocking video, combined with the devastating press conference held by the mother of Sterling's eldest son, sparked outrage online resulting in the hashtag #AltonSterling. Over the past 24 hours, countless celebrities have taken to social media to show their support for the Sterling family and to urge government officials to put an end to the violence.
On Wednesday night, Canadian rapper Drake posted an honest message to his fans admitting his concern for the safety of his loved ones and reminding everyone that we are not born with hashtags and shouldn't be reduced to one in death either.
Producer and actor Nick Cannon took to his Instagram page to highlight the injustice of the officers being provided paid leave while Sterling's family will never get to see him again.
Rapper The Game urged everyone to actually stand up and put an end to the hate and violence.
All we gone do is repost it & type "SMH" over & over again huh ?? Then we gone put #JusticeForAltonSterling & #BlackLivesMatter hashtags on Instagram & pretend that's us taking action huh ??? What happened to the generation of people who stood together, held hands & took to the streets peacefully or violently if it had to come to that & wouldn't move or be detoured from that stance until real results were handed over to us ?!?!? Huh ??? WTF is wrong with us these days that we will sit here & watch a video of yet another innocent man shot & killed in cold blood by police officers in this country ?!?!? WTF is wrong with ME, YOU & everyone else who will watch the video & read this caption & DO NOTHING until it happens again... Then what we gone do ?? The same shit we been doing... Hashtag #JUSTICEFOR[insert name here__________] & #BLACKLIVESMATTER when it really seems that they don't at all... & if #BLACKLIVES don't even matter to #BLACKPEOPLE why the fuck would they matter to anyone else ?!?!?!? What on earth is wrong with US ?!?!?!? But lemme stop so we can get back to turning up, dab'n & hittin "them folks" while this man lay dead in a county morgue for selling some fucking CD's & asking what he was being detained for ?!!?!?!?!? NAW, fuck this....... WE AINT HAVIN THIS SHIT NO MORE !!!!!!!!!!! #THETIMETOFIGHTBACKISNOW !!!!! #MartinLutherKing got shot on a fuckin balcony because he wasn't scared to stand up for our parents, grandparents & US.... The reason our black asses can even do 1/2 the shit we do is because that man sacrificed his life along with many others so we could..... & we ain't even got enough heart to stand together as a RACE & pay them back !!!! #IMNOTSCARED #FAKECARINGASSGENERATION #WHOELSEOUTTHEREGONEFAKECARE ??? #WEAINTGONEDOSHITBUTREPOSTANDHASHTAG #SCARYASSRACE #AMERICAREMOVED
Read on for more tweets from celebrities who are sharing their support for Sterling's family.Jesse Williams:
3) You chumps will NEVER provide this list... We see through you.
— jesseWilliams. (@iJesseWilliams) July 6, 2016
The violence that killed Alton Sterling and Philando Castile has become an all too common occurrence for people of color and IT. MUST. STOP.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) July 7, 2016
I just watched a man being executed by police. He was laying on his back. These cops are murderers. Not cops. Murderers. #altonsterling
— Vanessa Carlton (@VanessaCarlton) July 7, 2016
— josh groban (@joshgroban) July 7, 2016
How many more times must this happen for us to matter? How many more must we lose?
BLACK. LIVES. MATTER. #AltonSterling
— Zendaya (@Zendaya) July 6, 2016
Innocent lives man.. No restart button on life. People are taking lives like they're playing a video game.. HAS TO STOP! #AltonSterling
— Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) July 6, 2016
He had a right to sell CDs, and a right to due process, but he he was shot for being a black man. Don't rationalize murder. #AltonSterling
— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) July 6, 2016
I am literally sick to my stomach watching the video of the #AltonSterling takedown.
— Ron Perlman (@perlmutations) July 6, 2016
Praying for justice & peace in #AltonSterling case. Leadership roles(i.e. police) MUST require real accountability. The pattern MUST change💔
— hayley from Paramore (@yelyahwilliams) July 6, 2016
— Michelle Williams (@RealMichelleW) July 6, 2016
— Rashida Jones (@iamrashidajones) July 7, 2016
— Anthony Anderson (@anthonyanderson) July 6, 2016
— KATY PERRY (@katyperry) July 6, 2016
#AltonSterling being shot while straddled by two cops is beyond disturbing & sad. Sending prayers of ❤️ & strength to his family & friends.
— Olivia Munn (@oliviamunn) July 6, 2016
Jenna Dewan Tatum:
Heartbroken for #altonsterling's family and friends.
— P!nk (@Pink) July 6, 2016
#altonsterling I am just heartbroken today for his family. We need change. 😔
— Jenna Dewan Tatum (@jennaldewan) July 6, 2016
The son of #AltonSterling crying for his dad has me in tears. I'm not going to tweet anymore tonight. I'm going to take a moment.
— Iliza Shlesinger (@iliza) July 7, 2016
RIP #AltonSterling too disturbing to accept. Taking life away like it's not something we all equally deserve! God protect us all!
— Big Sean (@BigSean) July 7, 2016