Alton Sterling, Philando Castile: Taraji P. Henson decries police shooting deaths
'Keep posting until those who are silent are moved to do something,' the actress wrote
Beginning late Wednesday night and spanning into Thursday morning, the Empire actress posted a string of impassioned Instagram posts addressing the news. The first image appeared with a simple snap of the hashtag #AltonSterling. “Sick and tired of being sick and tired,” Henson wrote.
She then shared a series of various clips addressing police tactics in America. One shows police tasering a white man as he fights off his arrest, while another compiles flashbacks of recent officer-involved deaths like those of Sandra Bland and Eric Garner.
Henson also posted old speeches from iconic activists Malcolm X and Jane Elliot, as well as a graphic video from the aftermath of Castile’s shooting. “Which [presidential] candidate is talking about this s—?!?!” she asks. “Keep posting until those who are silent are moved to do something!!! WE ARE NOT MAKING THIS UP!!! OPEN YOUR EYES AND YOUR HEART!!!! #BlackLivesmatter SAY IT OR GTF OFF MY TIME LINE!!!”
Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, was fatally shot by police outside a Louisiana convenience store early Tuesday. In an encounter that was partially captured on video, he was confronted by two white officers responding to a call about an armed man. Sterling was pinned to the ground in an altercation and shot multiple times in the chest and back.
Less than 48 hours later, police fatally shot Castile, a 32-year-old black man, during a routine traffic stop Wednesday evening. His girlfriend live-streamed the aftermath on Facebook.
Henson joins a score of celebrities who have since spoken out about Sterling and Castile’s deaths. Drake penned an emotional response on Instagram, while Grey’s Anatomy actor Jesse Williams decried the violence on Twitter. John Legend and Parks and Recreation‘s Retta also tweeted about the incidents.
“We should not have to jump through hoops to prove black people shouldn’t be shot by police during routine traffic stops,” Legend wrote Thursday. “So many people work so hard to find a reason why executing a human being during a routine traffic stop is ok. IT’S NOT OK.”
See Retta and Legend’s tweets below.