Drake has responded to the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling with an open letter commenting on the “strained relationship” between US police and “black and brown communities”.
Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, was shot and killed by Louisiana police following a confrontation outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge on 5 July. Mobile phone footage of the shooting emerged, which appeared to show Sterling being shot in the chest from point-blank range after being wrestled to the ground.A second video appeared to show officers removing a gun from Sterling’s pocket, after he had been shot. The Department of Justice is to investigate the killing, which has prompted protests in Baton Rouge.
Drake posted an open letter on Instagram in response to the killing. He wrote:
I am grateful to be able to call America my second home. Last night when I saw the video of Alton Sterling being killed it left me feeling disheartened, emotional and truly scared. I woke up this morning with a strong need to say something.
It’s impossible to ignore that the relationship between black and brown communities and law enforcement remains as strained as it was decades ago. No one begins their life as a hashtag. Yet the trend of being reduced to one continues.
This is real and I’m concerned. Concerned for the safety of my family, my friends and any human being that could fall victim to this pattern. I do not know the answer. But I believe things can change for the better. Open and honest dialogue is the first step.
My thoughts and prayers are with the Sterling family and any family that has lost someone to this cycle of violence.
Be safe out there. More life.”