8 July 2016
Video footage was circulated on twitter on Tuesday, July 5 of a 37-year-old black man, Alton Sterling, being shot dead in Louisiana by police even as he wasn’t holding a gun and was already pinned down.
The footage appears to show police officers removing a gun from Sterling’s pocket after he had been tased and fatally shot four to six times.
An anonymous caller had earlier reported to the police that a man selling music CDs had threatened him with a gun.
In response to the killing of Sterling which has resulted in wild protests all over the U.S., Canadian rapper Drake also reacted in an open letter he shared on his Instagram wall.
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, emotionally 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.”
Author: Ekpeki Donald Pen Prince
Ekpeki Chovwe Donald styled the PenPrince is a writer and lawyer in equity. He has an unhealthy interest in wit, pun and poetry. When he’s not writing, he’s reading and when he’s not reading, he’s breathing. He breathes words.