Jesse Williams, Rashida Jones and More React to Police Shootings: 'I Can't Wake Up to Another Innocent Black Man Gone'

Celebrities are speaking out in the wake of the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile this week

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Photo: David Grunfeld/NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune

Expressing outrage and demanding change, celebrities including John Legend, Justin Timberlake, and Jesse Williams are speaking out on social media after two African-American men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, were killed in officer-related shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota earlier this week within a 48-hour span.

Their deaths – both captured on cell phone video – have many celebrities comparing the incidents to Freddie Gray and Eric Garner, who also died while interacting with authorities.

Castile, 32, was killed in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, during a traffic stop Wednesday. He was shot in front of his girlfriend and her child as he reached for his driver’s license, his girlfriend said during an incident that was streamed on Facebook Live. Police are investigating the widely shared Facebook video.

Sterling, 37, was shot Tuesday by police outside of a convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he was selling CDs in the parking lot. A video taken by witnesses shows police telling Sterling to get on the ground, before being tackled by a second officer. One of the officers yells, “He’s got a gun! Gun!” before apparently firing his weapon at Sterling.

The officers have since been placed on administrative leave and the incident is under federal investigation.

Taking to social media Wednesday and Thursday, Legend shared a series of emotional tweets, writing, “We should not have to jump through hoops to prove black people shouldn’t be shot by police during routine traffic stops.”

Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams – who recently delivered a moving speech about racial issues, social justice and cultural appropriation at the BET Awards – also weighed in, presenting a series of points on Castile and Sterling’s deaths.

Other stars, like Hamilton‘s Leslie Odom Jr., urged people to face the reality of the situation.

“Something’s gotta give… We getting killed everyday,” Chris Brown said in an emotional Instagram video (contains NSFW language). “Us as a people, we have to start getting our voice heard.”

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