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Oscar-winner Travon Free’s suit makes powerful statement about police brutality

Lily Wakefield April 26, 2021
Travon Free

Travon Free arrives on the Oscars red carpet. (Chris Pizzello-Pool/ Getty)

Bisexual comedian, actor and writer Travon Free made a powerful statement at the Oscars on Sunday (25 April), wearing a suit emblazoned with the names of victims of police brutality.

Free and Martin Desmond Roe took home the award for Short Film (Live Action) award for their film Two Distant Strangers, which focuses on police brutality and racial justice, at the 93rd Academy Awards in Los Angeles, California.

The film depicts a man caught in a time loop, forced to relive his fatal shooting at the hands of a police officer.

Ahead of the ceremony, Free and Roe wore matching Dolce & Gabbana suits which they opened to reveal a lining covered with the names of police brutality victims, including Eric Garner, Duante Wright and Alton Sterling.

They also wore Nike shoes printed with more names, including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

Martin Desmond Roe and Travon Free
Martin Desmond Roe and Travon Free attend the 93rd Annual Academy Awards. (Getty/ Chris Pizzello-Pool)

The pair added lapel pins honouring the late Kobe Bryant, shaped like both his and his daughter’s jersey numbers.

Travon Free gave a moving acceptance speech: ‘Please, don’t be indifferent to our pain’

Travon Free, the creator of HBO’s Him or Her which was based on the actor’s experience as a Black, bisexual man, also used his acceptance speech to draw attention to police violence against Black people.

He said: “Today the police will kill three people. And tomorrow the police will kill three people.

“And the day after that, the police will kill three people because on average the police in America every day kill three people, which amounts to about a thousand people a year.

“And those people happen to disproportionately be Black people.

“You know, James Baldwin once said: ‘The post despicable thing a person can be is indifferent to other people’s pain.’

“So I just ask that you, please, not be indifferent. Please, don’t be indifferent to our pain.”

Free’s statement at the Oscars came just days after former police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all charges of killing Floyd, an unarmed Black father, last May.

Free wrote on Twitter when the verdict was announced: “We all watched what happened to George Floyd on 25 May of last year.

“The jury believed their own eyes. Justice for George has been served.”

More: Oscars, police brutality

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