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Selma Cast and Director Wear #ICantBreathe T-Shirts at NYC Premiere


Last month, Civil Rights icon and Democratic congressman John Lewis drew an explicit connection between the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri following the shooting death of Michael Brown and the historic march through Selma, Alabama in 1963.

Now, the cast and director of the new film Selma, which chronicles those events through Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s eyes, has done the same, posing on the steps of the New York Public Library during last night’s NYC premiere wearing “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirts to honor Eric Garner’s last words before he was killed in a chokehold by a police officer. They also held their arms in the “Hands up, don’t shoot” position to honor Brown.

“There are no accidents,” actress Lorraine Toussaint told Variety about the moment. “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.”

Following Rep. Lewis’ remarks, President Barack Obama struck a different tone regarding the parallels between the two movements during an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos.

“The kinds of ongoing problems we have with police and communities of color around the country are not of the sort that we saw in Selma,” Obama said. “We’re not talking about systematic segregation or discrimination. They are solvable problems if in fact law enforcement officials are open to the kind of training and best practices that we’ve seen instituted in lot of parts of the country.”

Watch video below, via ABC:

[Photo via screengrab]

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