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Billy Porter, Rihanna, Mariah Carey and Sarah Paulson among hundreds of stars demanding urgent police reform

Reiss Smith August 20, 2020
Billy Porter and Rihanna

Billy Porter and Rihanna are among hundreds of entertainers to sign the open letter. (Getty)

Billy Porter, Rihanna, Mariah Carey and Sarah Paulson are among hundreds of entertainers urging California lawmakers to introduce vital police reforms.

The stars were joined by Meghan Thee Stallion, Mary J Blige, Billie Eilish, Blondie and many more in signing an open letter addressed to four key Californian politicians.

“While the killing of George Floyd inspired sustained outrage, protests, and reporting, the people of California have long understood the need to properly address the actions and accountability of police,” the letter states.

“For too long, courts have undermined the intent of the state’s laws, allowing bad police officers to violate the rights of those they are meant to protect.

“In addition, a lack of transparency and a deficient recordation system has shielded officers who abuse their authority and tarnish the integrity of California’s law enforcement. We can fix this.”

Addressed to California governor Gavin Newsom, speaker Anthony Rendon and assembly members Reggie Jones-Sawyer and Ken Cooley, the letter urges that two bills be passed in the state senate.

The first, SB 776, would improve transparency and reporting in cases of police wrongdoing. The second, SB 731, would allow for an officer’s certification to be revoked in cases of criminal conviction and serious misconduct.

Other signatories include Alyssa Milano, Anderson. Paak, Brian Tyree-Henry, Cynthia Erivo, Debra Messing, Kelly Rowland, Kelis, Mahershala Ali, Mandy Moore, Megan Rapinoe, Michelle Williams, Normani, Paula Abdul, Robert De Niro, SZA, Shawn Mendes, Steven Tyler and Yvette Nicole Brown.

Among the companies to sign the letter are the three to music labels — Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group and Sony Music Group – as well as the Screen Actors Guild, BMI and ASCAP.

Billy Porter performs at Democratic National Convention.

Billy Porter’s involvement comes in the same week as he performed a powerful protest song at the Democratic National Convention, against a backdrop of Black Lives Matter imagery.

The Pose star sung Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth”, backed by the song’s writer Stephen Stills on guitar, on the event’s opening night.

Following his performance, he told MSNBC: “Michelle Obama said it best in her speech tonight, and it was so refreshing to hear somebody talk about it in plain truth. We have been double-thinking for three years, everybody’s been afraid to say exactly what the truth is, and the truth is Donald Trump has destroyed our country.

“We have one decision to make, and it is to get it back, and the way we do that is to participate.”

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