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Celebrities, Politicians React to #AssaultAtSpringValleyHigh

spring-valley-highSince the tragic shooting of Ferguson, Missouri teen Michael Brown, Black celebrities have become vocal about police brutality and over-policing in Black and Brown communities. As more and more videos documenting police misconduct become public, social media and the court of public opinion has become a valuable tool in forming the basis of police accountability.

As of late, the Department of Justice has been actively involved investigating alleged civil rights violations. President Obama and congress have began the process to end mass incarceration and have pushed for police to wear body cameras.

This week, a video of a South Carolina teenage girl being violently apprehended in a Spring Valley High School classroom by a school resource officer sent social media into a frenzy. The girl was allegedly using a cell phone in class. She was forced from her desk, thrown to ground and dragged on the floor by the officer, Ben Fields.

Celebrities in the Black community were some of the loudest voices on social media. Actors including Jeffrey Wright, Gabrielle Union and Orlando Jones stood up for the teen.

TV personalities and journalists Jemele Hill and Roland S. Martin also weighed in.

CNN contributor, journalist and attorney Sunny Hostin was at the center of a disagreement with CNN anchor Don Lemon over the case. Hostin believed wholeheartedly that the officer used excessive force when he was met with none at all. Lemon, on the other hand, wanted to know what happen before the articulation.

As the incident went national, politicians began to look at the details of the case.

The parallels between Black celebrities during the civil rights era and now in the #BlackLivesMatter era are eerily uncanny. Actors and entertainers like Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis, Nina Simone, and many others have paved the way for today’s fearless celebrity voices that are willing to speak truth and power.

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