Friday 30 September 2016

Beyonce halts show to pay tribute to black police shooting victims

Published 08/07/2016 | 06:55

Beyonce performs during the Formation World Tour in New York (AP)
Beyonce performs during the Formation World Tour in New York (AP)

Beyonce halted her concert in Glasgow on Thursday night to hold a minute's silence in memory of two black men shot dead by police in the US this week.

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The singer paused her show at the Hampden Park Stadium as a giant screen was illuminated with names of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling and dozens of victims of recent police shootings in America.

Fans described being moved to tears by the tribute that hushed the huge crowds at the 50,000-seat arena.

Beyonce followed the memorial with an a cappella performance of Freedom, a recent release with themes associated with the Black Lives Matter movement.

At Beyonce's Hampden Park Stadium show a giant screen was displayed with the names of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling and dozens of victims of police shootings in the US (from the Twitter feed of ‏@ohnikkers with permission)
At Beyonce's Hampden Park Stadium show a giant screen was displayed with the names of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling and dozens of victims of police shootings in the US (from the Twitter feed of ‏@ohnikkers with permission)

In a message posted on her website, Beyonce called on her followers to "take a stand and demand that they 'stop killing us'" after footage emerged appearing to show Mr Castile, a 32-year-old from Minnesota, slumped in his car after he had been shot dead by a police officer.

The policeman is alleged to have opened fire while Mr Castille's girlfriend and her daughter were sat in the car.

It comes after 37-year-old Alton Sterling was shot dead by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Tuesday.

The deaths have sparked fresh demonstrations in the US and President Barack Obama said on Thursday that the killings were "an American issue that we should all care about."

Beyonce's online message to US politicians said: "We don't need sympathy. We need everyone to respect our lives ... Fear is not an excuse. Hate will not win."

Fan ‏@ohnikkers tweeted during the Glasgow concert: "I started crying as I read the names on the memorial and I didn't stop until the show ended."

Sam Lepowski said the tribute was "powerful", while @Jxck_ tweeted: "I have no words for how incredible beyonce was tonight, the moment of silence to #AltonSterling was touching."

Press Association

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