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Celebrities on police-involved shootings: Beyoncé, Jesse Williams and more speak out

Celebrities are using their public platforms to speak out against police-involved shootings.

In the first week in July, two black men were killed in Louisiana and Minnesota just one day apart.

Alton Sterling, 37, was fatally shot in Baton Rouge on July 5 after cops responded to a call that Sterling had threatened someone with a gun. Philando Castile, 32, was shot dead by police during a traffic stop in St. Paul the next day.

See what celebrities had to say about the recent shootings.

Beyoncé

Beyoncé has been outspoken against police brutality in
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Matt Cowan

Beyoncé has been outspoken against police brutality in recent months, with the imagery of a police car slowly being submerged and the graffitied phrase "Stop Shooting Us" in her recent "Formation" music video. On July 7, she a posted a lengthy letter on her website, writing, "We are sick and tired of the killings of young men and women in our communities... this is a human fight. No matter your race, gender or sexual orientation. This is a fight for anyone who feels marginalized, who is struggling for freedom and human rights." She also included links for fans to contact their local congressmen and women and to "voice protest" for Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.

Jesse Williams

Following the July shootings, actor and activist Jesse
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Gabe Ginsberg

Following the July shootings, actor and activist Jesse Williams posted a series of tweets, writing, "In the interest of time, would ye noble patriots please provide a list of infractions punishable by spontaneous public execution? Thanks! ...Upon receipt of this list, we'll return to our quarters and study up, eager to enjoy freedoms of white mass murders. #LIFEHACK...You chumps will NEVER provide this list... We see through you." At the 2016 BET Awards, Williams spoke out about racism in America and police brutality, saying, "[what] we've been doing is looking at the data and we know that police somehow manage to de-escalate, disarm and not kill white people every day. So what's going to happen is we are going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we will restructure their function and ours." A Change.org petition called for him to be fired from the ABC show "Grey's Anatomy" on the grounds of racism for these comments, but show runner Shonda Rhimes stated she had no intention of removing him from the series.

John Legend

John Legend posted several tweets on July 6
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Frazer Harrison

John Legend posted several tweets on July 6 in response to the shootings, including, "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."

Jay Z

On July 8, rapper Jay Z released a
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Theo Wargo

On July 8, rapper Jay Z released a new single, "spiritual," on his streaming platform, Tidal. The single considers the feelings of a black person living in today's America, its artwork an entirely black square in mourning for the many deaths from police-involved shootings.

Rashida Jones

On July 7,
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Paul Zimmerman

On July 7, "Parks and Recreation" actress Rashida Jones tweeted "Not ONE conviction for police murders of innocent black people. No accountability. Police reform NOW," tagging the president in the tweet as well as posting an image of the names of recently killed black men and women with "no conviction" listed next to their names.

Shonda Rhimes

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Bryan Bedder

"Scandal" and "Grey's Anatomy" producer Shonda Rhimes tweeted the morning of July 7, "Have written & erased at least 20 awesome furious tweets. But I am too sad. Instead, I'll just say this: #stopshootingus."

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Theo Wargo

"Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda tweeted the morning of July 7, "Philando Castile. Alton Sterling. Never coming home. Black lives matter. Not just as a hashtag, not just in all caps, in real life."

Taraji P. Henson

Actress Taraji P. Henson posted a black square
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Kevin Winter

Actress Taraji P. Henson posted a black square with "#AltonSterling" in white lettering on Instagram on July 7, captioning the post with "Sick and tired of being sick and tired."

Serena Williams

On July 7, tennis star Serena Williams tweeted
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Shaun Botterill

On July 7, tennis star Serena Williams tweeted a screenshot of an article describing the death of Philando Castile and wrote, "In London I have to wake up to this. He was black. Shot 4 times? When will something be done- no REALLY be done?!?!"

Samira Wiley

On July 5,
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Christopher Polk

On July 5, "Orange is the New Black" actress Samira Wiley tweeted, "#AltonSterling. Say his name."

Leslie Odom, Jr.

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Theo Wargo

"Hamilton" star Leslie Odom, Jr. tweeted July 7, "I am above ground today. Terrorism, domestic or otherwise, has not yet murdered me today. So I will live. I will live free."

Trevor Noah

After the Dallas shootings,
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Brad Barket

After the Dallas shootings, "The Daily Show" host Trevor Noah tweeted, "One step forward, ten steps back. The point is to save lives not trade places." In his opening monologue on July 7, before the Dallas shooting, he argued that it was possible to be "pro-cop and pro-black."

Sophia Bush

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Slaven Vlasic

"Chicago PD" actress Sophia Bush tweeted on July 7 about her own privilege as a white woman, writing, "I have a concealed carry permit. But I'll never get shot for telling that to a police officer if I'm pulled over. #PhilandoCastile #ENOUGH."

Nicki Minaj

Rapper Nicki Minaj tweeted on July 8,
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Bryan Steffy

Rapper Nicki Minaj tweeted on July 8, "May the spirit of Malcolm X be reborn... for such a time as this."

Matt McGorry

On July 6,
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Leigh Vogel

On July 6, "How to Get Away with Murder" actor Matt McGorry posted a series of tweets about racism and the place of white allies. Between multiple tweets, he wrote, "Confronting these things are going to be uncomfortable, but we must remember that while we are worried about being uncomfortable, people are being killed by police and are affected by the systems that we benefit from."

Danielle Brooks

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Larry Busacca

"Orange is the New Black" actress Danielle Brooks tweeted on July 7, "What is going on America?"

Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow tweeted on July 7,
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Rick Diamond

Sheryl Crow tweeted on July 7, "My heart is broken for the Sterling and Castile families. I don't know our country anymore. #AltonSterling #PhilandoCastile."

Missy Elliott

Singer and rapper Missy Elliott tweeted on July
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Neilson Barnard

Singer and rapper Missy Elliott tweeted on July 7, "Tossed & turned in my sleep last night just so sad, & it's frustrating SMH #PhilandoCastile #AltonSterling."

Ellen Pompeo

On Juy 8,
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Mark Davis

On Juy 8, "Grey's Anatomy" star Ellen Pompeo tweeted "We all can do better...anger is an epidemic."

P!nk

Singer P!nk tweeted on July 6,
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Christopher Polk

Singer P!nk tweeted on July 6, "Heartbroken for #altonsterling's family and friends." On Instagram, she wrote, "To anyone that has an issue with me saying BLACK LIVES MATTER.... Please unfollow AS FAST AS YOU CAN. Also, BLACK LIVES MATTER."

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