A crowdfunding campaign seeking to raise funds to support Alton Sterling's children, following his death, has amassed nearly $300,000. American actress Issa Rae launched the GoFundMe page after the 37-year-old Baton Rouge resident was fatally shoot by police officers in Louisiana on 5 July.
"If you feel helpless, but want to play a small part in easing the burden of #AltonSterling's family, consider donating to this scholarship fund for his 15-year-old son (and his other kids)," a message on the page reads. "*ALL* funds raised will go to Alton Sterling's family."
More than 7,000 people have made donations, which will go towards the Sterling family to help them with funeral costs and put his five children through college. "Thanks so much for putting together this fund! It really means a lot to know that action is taking place," one supporter said.
Sterling was shot five times at close range after being tackled by two white police officers. A graphic video, recorded by Triple S Food Mart owner Abdullah Muflahi, depicts the moments leading to his death and shows one of the offices shooting Sterling and the other removing something from his trousers as he was dying.
Taking to Twitter after news of his death broke, Rae told her 88.2K followers that she felt compelled to do something. "Can we got a scholarship fund going 4 #AltonSterling's son/kids? Some of us feel helpless when these things happen, but that's a small step," she said. Although the goal was originally set at $40,000, the figure was soon raised after donations flooded in from across the country.
Rae rose to prominence as the creator of the web series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, which spurred a 2015 book of the same name. She is also the star and creator of upcoming HBO series Insecure.
Meanwhile hip-hop star Drake revealed that he had been "scared" watching the widely circulated clip. "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," he wrote in an open later posted to Instagram.
"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.