drake and ajak deng respond to brutal police killings of black men

Following the unjust deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, the musician and model have joined countless others in expressing their fear and heartbreak on Instagram.

by Charlotte Gush
|
07 July 2016, 5:05pm

As news spreads across the internet of the killing of Philando Castile, the second black man shot dead by police officers in the past 24 hours, a number of public figures have spoken out about the latest chapter in America's deadly history of police brutality against black people. Castile's murder follows the death of Alton Sterling, a father of five.

Drake and Ajak Deng have both posted passionate responses on their Instagram accounts. The Canadian musician opening by saying that he is "grateful to be able to call America my second home," before explaining that, "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," Drake notes, adding that, "No one begins their life as a hashtag. Yet the trend of being reduced to one continues," before explaining that he is concerned for his family, friends and others who "could fall victim to this pattern."

Ajak Deng posted a series of emotional videos on Instagram, revealing that one of the reasons these killings affect her so deeply is because she has experienced police brutality in America herself. "Two years ago I was almost killed by two white officers in front of my building," she says, crying. "If my neighbor did not open his window that night to film what they were doing to me, I would have never been alive today. And that's what breaks my heart. I'm so grateful to be alive."

Deng also posted the video of Sterling's murder, commenting, "All lives matter!?? Really??? Do you see what I see? Do you understand what is happening? Am I simply stupid for feeling sad or ignorance? I rest my case here, my heart is in little [pieces] and there's nothing that humanity can do to give me back my full heart. Thank you for breaking it again and again and again and again and again."

Read Beyoncé's stirring letter to fans about this week's police shootings

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Text Charlotte Gush

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Alton Sterling
Philando Castile
ajak deng