Beyonce halted her concert in Glasgow, Scotland on Thursday night and asked fans to observe a moment of silence for victims of police brutality.
Just hours after posting a letter in response to the deaths of unarmed black men Alton Sterling and Philando Castile on her website, the R&B superstar took the stage at Hampden Park for her latest Formation World Tour date – and decided to pay an emotional tribute to the two slain men, who were shot and killed by police officers in Louisiana and Minnesota this week.
The singer also projected dozens of victims’ names on a giant screen behind her.
“We are sick and tired of the killings of young men and women in our communities,” Beyonce wrote online. “It is up to us to take a stand and demand that they ‘stop killing us’.”
“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,” she added, calling on fans to contact their local politicians and demand action.
Beyonce joined a growing list of celebrities, including rappers Drake and Macklemore and actor Jesse Williams, speaking out against police brutality following the deaths of Sterling and Castile, who was shot and killed by police in St. Paul, Minnesota, when he was allegedly pulled over for a broken tail light. His girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, broadcast a Facebook Live video of the aftermath of the shooting.
U.S. leader Barack Obama also offered his thoughts about the deaths in a lengthy Facebook post, writing: “All Americans should be deeply troubled by the fatal shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. We’ve seen such tragedies far too many times, and our hearts go out to the families and communities who’ve suffered such a painful loss.”
He added, “Although I am constrained in commenting on the particular facts of these cases, I am encouraged that the U.S. Department of Justice has opened a civil rights investigation in Baton Rouge, and I have full confidence in their professionalism and their ability to conduct a thoughtful, thorough, and fair inquiry.”
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