Beyoncé wrote an open letter on Thursday about the shooting deaths of black Americans Alton Sterling and Philando Castile by police officers, urging people to “take a stand.” She also pleaded with authorities to “stop killing us” — “us” being people of colour in the United States.
“We are sick and tired of the killings of young men and women in our communities,” reads the statement on Beyoncé’s website. “It is up to us to take a stand and demand that they ‘stop killing us.'”
The statement is a definitive call for action, though the singer specifically calls for people to “contact the politicians and legislators” to demand “social and judicial changes.”
READ MORE: Piers Morgan refuses to apologize or make amends for Beyoncé column
Beyoncé’s message was lost as violence erupted Thursday night in Dallas, Tex. (the state where the singer was born); five police officers were killed and seven others wounded. The chief of Dallas police said Friday morning that one of the suspects told negotiators he wanted to “kill white people, especially white officers.”
This isn’t the first time the singer has been vocal about the issue of police brutality and race relations. Her Formation video features a cop car, a police line and graffiti that says “Stop Shooting Us.” Her attire in the video and at this year’s Super Bowl were reminiscent of the Black Panthers, which some people said was inciting or promoting violence.
Many American police officers have vowed to boycott her Formation tour, though no threats have actually materialized into action.
At her concert last night in Glasgow, Scotland, Beyoncé paused for a moment of silence while the names of those killed by U.S. police were shown on a screen.
Beyoncé’s husband, rapper Jay Z, also released a new song in response to the fatal police shootings of Sterling and Castile.
In the song titled Spiritual, Jay Z raps, “Got my hands in the air, in despair, don’t shoot, I just want to do good.”
In a statement accompanying the song’s release (which looks exactly like his wife’s posting), the rapper says he began working on it “a while ago.” He says someone encouraged him to release it following the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., but he says he knew Brown’s death “wouldn’t be the last.”
He says he’s “saddened and disappointed in THIS America — we should be further along,” He adds, “WE ARE NOT.”
Alton Sterling was shot and killed by two Baton Rouge, La., police officers after they pinned him to the ground outside of a convenience store early Tuesday.
Philando Castile was killed by a police officer during a traffic stop in Minnesota on Wednesday night.