Singer Beyonce has penned an emotive open letter expressing her personal sense of outrage at the latest killings of two black men by US police. Philando Castile was shot dead by a Minnesota police officer after being pulled over with his girlfriend and her daughter for a broken tail light on 6 July.
His girlfriend live-streamed the moment Castile, 32, was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis after he was asked for ID. He was shot five times.
A day earlier in Louisiana on 5 July, Alton Sterling died from multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and back after being apprehended by police in the state's capital Baton Rouge.
Making an impassioned plea on her website Beyonce.com on Thursday (7 July) the singer demanded "stop killing us.".
"We are sick and tired of the killings of young men and women in our communities," she wrote. "It is up to us to take a stand and demand that they stop killing us. We don't need sympathy.
"We're going to stand up as a community and fight against anyone who believes that murder or any violent action by those who are sworn to protect us should consistently go unpunished. These robberies of lives make us feel helpless and hopeless but we have to believe we are fighting for the rights of the next generation."
The letter included links to contact a local congressman or woman to protest against the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
Beyonce is one of many celebrities who have raised their voices in anger at the latest in a string of senseless fatal shootings of black men at the hands of police in America. The shootings have prompted many celebrities including Drake, Rosario Dawson, will.i.am, Olivia Wilde, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj and Justin Timberlake to voice their anger publicly as they decry the institutionalised racism in the police force.
San Francisco 49ers star Colin Kaepernick shared a post on Instagram about Castile's death writing: "This is what lynchings look like in 2016! Another murder in the streets because the color of a man's skin, at the hands of the people who they say will protect us. When will they be held accountable? or did he fear for his life as he executed this man?"
Kaepernick's teammate, Torrey Smith, wrote: "I would say good morning but it's not. Bs like this keeps happening. This is sickening. When will it end?"
Singer Chris Brown posted a video of himself to Instagram in which he expressed his dismay at the plight of the black community. "Yo man, something's gotta give, bro, it just has to. ... We're getting killed every day. ... "
He also released a ballad called "My Friend ... for anybody dealing with injustice or struggle in their lives," he wrote in an Instagram post (July 7).
Actress Niecy Nash shared a poignant meme with the caption: "I can't keep calm I have a black son."
Lee Daniels, the producer of hit show 'Empire' posted a video of Sterling's death expressing his horror at the latest incident. "And now I come home to this??????? !!!YES!!!!! We all NEED to see this OVER and OVER ... because it's REAL...And it's happening NOW!!!! I'm sad and sadly not shocked. The gig is up and we need to fix it!!! My prayers to this man's family."
Katy Perry tweeted: "You can't just go on with your day, you must watch this & we must face this continual outrageousness #ALTONSTERLING"
President Obama issued a statement on his Facebook page in which he addressed both shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota and called for communities to come together to safeguard future generations. "'All Americans should be deeply troubled by the fatal shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota," it reads.
"We've seen such tragedies far too many times, and our hearts go out to the families and communities who've suffered such a painful loss. Although I am constrained in commenting on the particular facts of these cases, I am encouraged that the U.S. Department of Justice has opened a civil rights investigation in Baton Rouge, and I have full confidence in their professionalism and their ability to conduct a thoughtful, thorough, and fair inquiry.'
"...all Americans should recognize the anger, frustration, and grief that so many Americans are feeling -- feelings that are being expressed in peaceful protests and vigils. Michelle and I share those feelings. Rather than fall into a predictable pattern of division and political posturing, let's reflect on what we can do better.
"Let's come together as a nation, and keep faith with one another, in order to ensure a future where all of our children know that their lives matter."
Following the fatal shootings. residents have taken to the streets in protest. On Tuesday night about 200 protesters took to the streets of Baton Rouge to shouting "Black Lives Matter" and "No justice, no peace".
On social media, the distressing video of Philando Castile's death at the hands of the police has prompted an outpouring of grief and a call for action against police brutality across the US.