Pin It
alton sterling
Alton Sterling was shot by Baton Rouge police officers

Drake criticises police brutality in open letter

The rapper makes a rare political intervention, pleading for an end to the ‘cycle of violence’ following the murder of black Louisina resident Alton Sterling

Drake has written an open letter criticising police brutality following the murder of black Louisiana resident Alton Sterling yesterday.

In a note posted to Instagram, the rapper pleaded for an end to the “cycle of violence” at the hands of police officers. “It’s impossible to ignore that the relationship between black and brown communities and law enforcement remains as strained as it was decades ago,” he writes, “No one begins their life as a hashtag, yet the trend of being reduced to one continues.”

“This is real and I’m concerned, concerned for the safety of my family, my friends, and any human being who could fall victim to this pattern.”

Sterling, aged 37, died of multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and back yesterday when he was shot while being held down by two white police officers. He was reportedly selling CDs outside a store when the police were called following a report that a man in a red t-shirt had threatened someone with a gun. Police officers claimed that their body-mounted cameras fell off prior to the shooting, but video captured by a community activist shows the shooting as it happened.

This is a rare political intervention from Drake, who despite his high profile doesn’t often explicitly state a position on national or international events – in the past he’s said that “I try to make music that transcends gender, nationality to try and unify people” instead.

Read the letter below.