*At the New York premiere of “Selma” on Sunday, many cast members and co-writer/director Ava DuVernay followed in the non-violent protest footsteps of the historical figures they brought to the screen, wearing “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirts over their red-carpet suits and gowns.
The premiere was held the day after Millions March in New York, where peaceful protesters marched through Manhattan against a Staten Island grand jury’s decision to not indict a police officer in the death of Eric Garner, an unarmed asthmatic black man who was held in a chokehold, despite saying repeatedly, “I can’t breathe.” He died later as a result.
The Notre Dame’s women basketball team wore similar T-shirts over the weekend during warm-ups, according to Buzzfeed, as did the L.A. Lakers and other NBA teams earlier this week.
DuVernay and several “Selma” cast members — including David Oywlowo, E. Roger Mitchell, Wendell Pierce, Omar Dorsey, John Lavelle, Stephan James, Kent Faulcon, Lorraine Toussaint, Andre Holland, Tessa Thompson and Colman Domingo — also raised their arms to represent “hands up, don’t shoot” in honor of Michael Brown, the unarmed black teen who was killed in Ferguson, Missouri, in August. The police officer who killed Brown was also not indicted by a grand jury.
Corey Reynolds, who plays CT Vivian in Selma, kept his shirt on as he walked the carpet (above), while Ruben Santiago-Hudson (below), who plays Bayard Rustin, posed with his hands up.