A photo of Alton Sterling and his family displayed at a memorial.
Photo by Mark Wallheiser—Getty Images
By Jonathan Vanian and Kia Kokalitcheva
July 8, 2016

As Americans still reel from the separate police shootings of two black men this week, some Silicon Valley companies are expressing sorrow and solidarity online.

On Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted on the social network a note about Wednesday evening’s death of a Minnesota man, Philando Castile, after being pulled over by the police for a broken tail light. Castile’s girlfriend began video recording after an officer shot him in the arm as he calmly tried to pull out his license and registration. The footage was broadcast live on Facebook through the company’s new video tool, though it quickly spread through social media, sparking widespread outrage, despite being briefly taken off Facebook. Here is what Zuckerberg wrote:

Yesterday, a Minnesota woman named Diamond Reynolds went live on Facebook immediately after her fiancé, Philando Castile, had been shot by police in his car. Philando later died from his wounds. In the video, Diamond’s 4-year-old daughter is watching from the back seat.

My heart goes out to the Castile family and all the other families who have experienced this kind of tragedy. My thoughts are also with all members of the Facebook community who are deeply troubled by these events.

The images we’ve seen this week are graphic and heartbreaking, and they shine a light on the fear that millions of members of our community live with every day. While I hope we never have to see another video like Diamond’s, it reminds us why coming together to build a more open and connected world is so important — and how far we still have to go.

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Earlier on Thursday, Google also tweeted a message of solidarity and grief over the deaths of Castile and Alton Sterling, who was shot on Tuesday by police in Baton Rouge, La.

For more responses about the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, read this Fortune story.

While it doesn’t appear that Twitter has made any public statement, CEO Jack Dorsey has tweeted out several news articles, tweets, and other content expressing shock, sadness, and calls for anti-racism actions.

Nevertheless, some critics are calling on Silicon Valley to take more meaningful action in helping fight racism and police shootings, beyond simply posting messages of sympathy on the Internet.

 

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