UPDATE: The Town Hall was broadcast last night (live), and BET has made it available online this morning. Watch it below (it's an hour-long) after the original announcement published yesterday.
As news and images of the senseless deaths of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Jordan Davis, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Freddie Grey and countless others killed by law enforcement continues to increase, BET Networks is determined to encourage meaningful dialogue that galvanizes change and provides viewers with a platform to have their voices be heard and amplified.
“Too many days this week we woke up to heart-breaking news about the tragic shooting of yet another black man at the hands of law enforcement in America. From Mike Brown and Freddie Gray to Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, no family should have to endure the tragedy of their loved ones becoming a hashtag. Yet far too often, black men in America are at risk of becoming a statistic at the hands of the very officers that have been hired to protect and serve them. Now, with the senseless killing of police officers in Dallas yesterday, things have reached a boiling point and it's time for everyone to channel their emotions towards a solution, not more violence.” said Debra L. Lee, Chairman and CEO, BET Networks. “In response to these senseless killings, we have launched the #DeEscalateDontKill campaign to engage in the national conversation about issues of race, justice and policing in America. We are also using this time to amplify the messaging around our newly launched voter engagement campaign, Voice Your VoteBET. While our hearts are broken, we must remain focused on holding our elected officials accountable by showing up at the polls on Election Day and voicing our outrage through our votes. In addition, we must all recognize the importance of getting involved in the political process at the local level, where community policing is working, and as a community, figure out how we can partner with law enforcement to save lives.”
The campaign provides viewers with a platform to share their testimonials and reactions on the continued tragic deaths of African American people at the hands of law enforcement and gun violence. Share your video now on BET.com/DontKill to have your voice be heard and amplified. You can also watch some of the recent #DeEscalateDontKill uploads there.
In addition, MTV News and BET News will host a live town hall, “What Now? An MTV News and BET Town Hall” tonight at 10 PM ET/PT across all screens (MTV, BET, VH1, MTV2, Centric and VH1 Classic), to discuss America in crisis. Marc Lamont Hill, Charlamange Tha God, Jamil Smith, and Franchesca Ramsey will broadcast live from MTV’s Times Square studio with an open forum of artists, activists and audience members discussing the issues underlying this latest round in a cycle of violence and tragedy in America.
Join the conversation on social media by logging on to BET’s multiple social media platforms by using hashtag #DeEscalateDontKill; and following us @BETNews & @BET.
Watch the Town Hall below: