Justin Timberlake and Billie Eilish took to Instagram to voice their outrage over Rayshard Brooks’ death.
Another black man was killed after allegedly resisting arrest. Brooks, 27, was shot dead by police on Friday (June 12), merely weeks after George Floyd’s killing at the hands of Minneapolis law enforcement.
On Sunday, the former NSYNC singer took to Instagram to share a photo of Brooks and voice his anger over the rampant violence against the black community. Timberlake wrote that the dad-of-three, along with three others who were also killed within the past week, should not be dead.
“As a dad, this photo hurts. #RayshardBrooks was a father of three girls…1, 2, and 8 years old. He should not be dead,” Timberlake wrote.
Aside from Brooks, the singer mentioned two black trans women, Riah Milton and Dominique Fells, who were killed in separate attacks in a single 24-hour period in Ohio and Philadelphia, respectively. He also included Robert L. Fuller, a 24-year-old black man found hanging from a tree in LA County on June 8.
“Neither should #RiahMilton, #DominiqueFells, and #RobertFuller. This week, these four innocent people became victims of racism, violence, and intolerance. And we’re still waiting for Justice for #BreonnaTaylor. I’m heartbroken for their families and for this country,” he continued.
Timberlake emphasized that the system in the country needs to change because it has “repeatedly shown us that Black people in America are not safe.”
Timberlake’s post received mixed reaction from netizens. Some shared his outrage, but others defended police officers because Brooks resisted arrest.
“Do not drink and drive. Do not resist arrest. Do not point anything at a police officer. Crazy times that he’s the victim,” one commented.
Another netizen claimed that the officers were in the right and urged Timberlake to “stop blaming the officer and stop defending the criminals.”
Like Timberlake, Eilish also shared a photo of Brooks on her social media account. She expressed her anger over his killing and sought justice for Brooks. She also asked why not many were talking about his case.
However, just like Timberlake’s post, some netizens also disagreed with her blaming the cops.
“Because he resisted arrest for DWI, assaulted the police officers and grabbed the cop’s tazor then tried to shoot the officer with it. What if it was the officer’s gun?! Again little girl! Stick to music. You have no idea what you are talking about,” one commented.
Several praised Eilish for her music and talent but urged her to do her research first before making a statement. Some netizens also unfollowed her.
“Just case Billie is famous doesn’t mean every thing she says is right lol In the end of the day she just a teenager like millions of us like she clearly didn’t saw what really happen,” another wrote.
According to Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Brooks fell asleep in his car in the drive-thru lane at a Wendy’s restaurant, Entertainment Tonight reported. He failed a sobriety test, and two responding officers moved to take him into custody, which ensued in a struggle.
Brooks reportedly took one of the officer’s tasers and ran. Based on the autopsy, Brooks was shot twice on the back. He later died of organ injuries and blood loss during an emergency surgery.
A day after Brooks’ death, Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields resigned. The officers who were involved were suspended, and the cop who shot Brooks was fired.