Janelle Monáe, Chika, and Halsey Take A Stand Against Police Brutality

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In the space of a few short days, two African-Americans died as a direct result of police brutality. A man named George Floyd, and a woman called Breonna Taylor. Their murders have sparked protests across the United States and beyond, and sparked fresh conversations about why so many Black people die at the hands of the police. As well as taking to the streets, people have been using social media to spread the word and call for action. Here’s a recap of what Black lesbian and bisexual celebrities have used their platforms to say in response to these killings.

The rapper Chika used Instagram to broadcast her experience of being detained by the police while protesting George Floyd’s death. After joining in with the protest in Los Angeles, Chika spent seven hours being kept in handcuffs once police officers declared an unlawful gathering at the scene. In her video’s caption, the 23-year-old wrote this message: “Today was not a riot. Today was peaceful until police began beating and targeting protestors. Nobody deserved to be arrested or detained.”

Chika wasn’t the only musician to join in protests. Halsey – who is bisexual and biracial – also took a stand against police brutality in Santa Monica. The singer described the protest as “peaceful.” Yet the police response, by her account, was anything but.

“We were peaceful hands up not moving not breaching the line. They opened fire of rubber bullets and tear gas multiple times on us. Citizens who were not provoking them.” These words captioned two images showing police in protective gear and holding batons. Halsey said that she was hit twice, “once by pellets and once by shrapnel.” All the while, protesters were “gassed repeatedly for hours.”

“Most of us were simply begging them to have empathy,” wrote Halsey, “to reconsider. To consider humanity and our nations history and future. They opened fire multiple times.”

On her Instagram account, Halsey shared the contact details of the Mineappolis District Attorney, encouraging her followers to contact Mike Freeman and “demand justice for George Floyd.” She also added the link to Floyd’s memorial fund in her Stories.

Finally, Halsey asked that people “stop sharing videos of Black people being murdered. ‘Seeing all sides’ doesn’t mean watching someone’s murder. Believe Black people. It’s gratuitous and exploitative. Imagine being his kin right now.”

Janelle Monáe, star of Homecoming Season 2, used her platform to ask for change. The Electric Lady sent the following message to her 1.2 million Twitter followers:

“LET’S SIGN THE PETiTiON and MAKE THE CALLS! Hold the city of Louisville accountable. Stand UP FOR #BreonnaTaylor ! SPEAK UP FOR BRE & BLACK WOMEN! THE COPS MURDERED HER! THE COPS HAVE NOT BEEN ARRESTED! THERE IS NO VIDEO but IT HAPPENED!”

Monáe followed up by naming the officers involved in Breonna Taylor’s death:

“The LMPD officers responsible for Breonna’s murder are John Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove. To date, they have been placed on administrative leave while the investigation continues. No charges have been brought and no arrests have been made. #BreonnaTaylor”

Monáe’s words were shared by thousands, including Wanda Sykes – who added Tweets of her own. Under the caption Say Her Name – a movement to end police brutality against African-American women – Sykes shared a photo of Breonna Taylor. It read:

“This is Breonna Taylor. She deserved to live. Breonna was only 26 when she was killed by Louisville police as they executed a drug raid at the wrong address for a person they had already arrested earlier that day. She and her family deserve justice. Call 502-735-1784 to #StandWithBre!”

Sykes was similarly vocal about the death of George Floyd. “If they want to restore order,” she wrote, “start by arresting the other cops who murdered #GeorgeFloyd.  How are you talking about rounding up law breakers when you’re harboring murderers in your ranks? GTFOOH [Get the F*ck Out].”

In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, Lena Waithe also took to Twitter to mourn.

“Being Black In America Should Not Be A Death Sentence. I’m tired of typing ‘Rest in Peace’, I wish BLACK men could live in peace. Rest in Power #GEORGEFLOYD. All 4 police officers have been officially fired, but now we need them arrested & CHARGED. This must end.”

 

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