Beyoncé paused her concert in Glasgow on Thursday night to lead the crowd in a moment of silence for Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and “countless others” who have been killed by police officers in America.
The singer, who posted a lengthy letter to her site on Thursday against police violence, projected the names of Sterling, Castile, and many other victims of police violence. The moment of silence, captured via fan-shot footage below, led into a stripped-down version of “Freedom,” off Beyoncé’s recent album, Lemonade.
Sterling, 37, was shot and killed by Louisiana police officers this week; Castile was shot and killed this week during a traffic stop in Minnesota, and his death was broadcast live on Facebook by Castile’s girlfriend.
“We are sick and tired of the killings of young men and women in our communities,” Beyoncé wrote in the open letter. “It is up to us to take a stand and demand that they ‘stop killing us.'”
She added, “We don’t need sympathy. We need everyone to respect our lives. We’re going to stand up as a community and fight against anyone who believes that murder or any violent action by those who are sworn to protect us should consistently go unpunished.”
Beyoncé’s letter made a plea for everyone to come together in what she called a “human fight,” regardless of “race, gender, or sexual orientation.”
“This is a fight for anyone who feels marginalized, who is struggling for freedom and human rights,” she wrote. “This is not a plea to all police officers but toward any human being who fails to value life. The war on people of color and all minorities needs to be over. Fear is not an excuse. Hate will not win. We all have the power to channel our anger and frustration into action. We must use our voices to contact the politicians and legislators in our districts and demand social and judicial changes.”
The letter ended with mentions of Sterling and Castile, and a wish to “pray for an end to this plague of injustice in our communities.”