Drake has responded to the shooting of Alton Sterling, who was shot to death by police in Baton Rouge, La., earlier this week, with an open letter posted to his Instagram account.
Sterling, a 37-year-old father of five, was shot dead by two police officers in the chest and neck after a confrontation outside a convenience store, where he was selling CDs. The July 5 shooting was recorded on a cellphone video, which spread quickly through social media. The police were reportedly responding to a 911 call from a homeless man who had approached Sterling outside the store repeatedly asking him for money. The shooting is currently being investigated at the federal level by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Drake responded to the incident on his social media account, saying the video left him "feeling disheartened, emotional and truly scared."
The full text of the letter is posted below:
"I am grateful to be able to call America my second home. 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. 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 that could fall victim to this pattern. I do not know the answer. But I believe things can change for the better. Open and honest dialogue is the first step.
"My thoughts and prayers are with the Sterling family and any family that has lost someone to this cycle of violence.
"Be safe out there. More life.”
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