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The cast of the new film Selma used their power and recognition this weekend to bring attention to a greater cause.

At the movie’s premiere this weekend, director Ava DuVernay joined the entire cast to don “I Can’t Breathe” shirts in honor of the late Eric Garner, who was killed after being placed in a chokehold by NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo. The cast, including actors David OyelowoWendell PierceJohn Lavelle, Lorraine Toussaint, and Tessa Thompson, took to the steps of the New York Public Library with their arms raised in the ‘don’t shoot’ position.

With all the protests and pleas for justice happening this year, the film – which follows Martin Luther King and the civil rights marches of Selma, Alabama – comes at the perfect time: the same weekend as almost 30,000 people peacefully protested throughout New York City as part of the #MillionsMarch campaign to fight against police brutality.

Lorraine Toussaint revealed:

“There are no accidents. I’m so proud to be a part of this film, and I’m so proud of Ava’s accomplishment. To bear witness to the fact that this voice is being heard at this moment … it speaks to the times and the needs of this time, too.”

Selma hits select theaters on Christmas Day, followed by a wide release on Jan. 9.


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