Photography: Scott Kaplan
Last night, New Yorkers joined together to march against police brutality in response to the killings of Alton Sterling in Louisiana, and Philando Castile in Minnesota at the hands of police. 37-year-old Alton Sterling was shot in Baton Rouge after police were called to a convenience store where he was selling CD’s. Philando Castile, 35, was repeatedly shot while reaching for his driver’s license after notifying the officer he was armed and had a permit to carry. Both murders were caught on video and uploaded to the internet.
Sterling and Castile’s deaths have sparked outrage across the country, with artists like Drake, Beyoncé, Miguel and Jay-Z writing open letters and releasing songs about police brutality. Others have taken to the streets, organizing vigils, marches and protests to honor the victims and incite change.
The NYC march, which began in Union Square and went through Times Square, remained peaceful. The crowd bound together to chant, “No Justice, No Peace,” while holding signs that read, “I’m not afraid of ISIS, I’m afraid of cops,” and, “Black Lives Matter.” Meanwhile, Dallas’ gathering turned violent when multiple snipers killed four Dallas police officers and one Area Rapid Transit officer, while also wounding seven others, as well as two civilians, including Shetamia Taylor, who was shot while shielding her sons from the attack—the deadliest attack on U.S. law enforcement since 9/11.
Though, three of the four suspects are in custody and the fourth was killed by a bomb-wielding robot dispatched by the police after negotiations with the shooter failed, Americans are left reeling. Sterling and Castile’s murders are a stark reminder of the nature of police brutality, but solving violence with violence will never be the right answer. Right now, the best thing for us to do is come together to honor the victims of these senseless crimes and help their families. Here’s how:
The #AltonSterlingFamilyScholarship was created by actress Issa Rae to support Sterling’s five children
Created by Castile’s sister, Justice for Philando Castile, will contribute to Castile’s “homecoming and family.”
The Dallas Police Officer’s Assistance will provide funds to the victims and the DPD.