Los Angeles: Pop star Beyonce Knowles has issued a statement in which she has encouraged her fans to "take a stand" and campaign for legal changes following the shootings of two black men by police.
Beyonce Knowles. Pic/Santa Banta
The 34-year-old "Formation" singer has spoken out after Philando Castile and Alton Sterling were killed by officers in Minnesota and Louisiana respectively, insisting the issue goes beyond race to encompass "anyone who feels marginalised, who is struggling for freedom and human rights".
And Beyonce urged her fans to contact politicians to "demand"' changes, sharing a link to ContactingtheCongress.org, the Louisiana State Legislature website for those wishing to "protest for Alton Sterling," and the Minnesota State Legislature website for those wanting to "voice protest for Philando Castile."
In a statement on her website, she wrote: "We are sick and tired of the killings of young men and women in our communities. It is up to us to take a stand and demand that they 'stop killing us.'
"We don't need sympathy. We need everyone to respect our lives. 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 to protect us should consistently go unpunished.
"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.
"No matter your race, gender or sexual orientation. This is a fight for anyone who feels marginalised, who is struggling for freedom and human rights. This is not a plea to all police officers but toward any human being who fails to value life. The war on people of colour and minorities needs to be over. Fear is not an excuse. Hate will not win," Beyonce said.
"While we pray for the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, we will also pray for an end to this plague of injustice in our communities. We all have the power to channel our anger and frustration into action. We must use our voices to contact the politicians and legislators in our districts and demand social and judicial changes."
Castile was shot on July 6 during a traffic stop in front of his girlfriend and her child as he reached for his driver's license, while Sterling lost his life the day before when he was shot outside a convenience store, where he was selling CDs in a parking lot.