On Tuesday morning, 37-year-old Alton Sterling was shot and killed by two police officers in Baton Rouge. They were responding to an anonymous 911 call about a man waving a gun.
An investigation is currently underway as to what exactly transpired and why the officers chose to open fire on the father of five, who was pinned down while selling CDs outside of a convenience store.
As reported yesterday, both of the officers involved were placed on leave. In addition, the Department of Justice has announced that it plans to launch a civil rights investigation into the circumstances of the shooting.
Celebrities have taken to social media to share their thoughts and their heartbreak. Drake was so emotionally moved after viewing the videos of Sterling’s death that he decided to pen an open letter to his 25 million Instagram followers.
In the letter, Drake said he was scared about what he had witnessed and felt a “strong need to say something.” He stated, powerfully, that “No one begins their life as a hashtag. Yet the trend of being reduced to one continues.”
His thoughts on the struggle people of color face when dealing with law enforcement ring particularly true following last night’s events, when a black man by the name of Philando Castile was fatally shot by a police officer during a traffic stop.
“I do not know the answer,” Drake wrote. “But I believe things can change for the better. Open and honest dialogue is the first step.”
You can read his full letter below.