Black Eyed Peas star will.i.am has said the US police force is a “terror squad” which has “inflicted fear” on the nation’s black and brown youth.
The 45-year-old rapper, who grew up on a housing project in Los Angeles, said deprived areas needed investment rather than more policing.
He said that as an African-American, he had friends who had been killed by police officers.
Will.i.am’s comments came after Black Lives Matter protests in the US and UK, sparked in May by the death of unarmed man George Floyd in Minnesota.
He said: “As an African American, you know, you’ve been brought up in a community, in communities where the police have been the terror squad – trying to find the right word.
“They’ve killed your friends. They’ve inflicted fear in the youth of black and brown men, more so than women.
“In your community, there is no investment for kids’ education. There isn’t the best food to eat, so people are not healthy.
“So the environment that black and brown Americans are living in, it’s not healthy. You don’t feel safe because of the crime and the crime is there because there’s no opportunity.
“So why don’t we invest and allow black and brown to build up their communities themselves? Educate them, encourage them, mentor, and prepare them for tomorrow.”
Black Eyed Peas recently released their eighth studio album, titled Translation, which features a Latin pop influence.
Last year will.i.am accused a flight attendant from Australia’s national carrier Qantas of being racist and rude to him on a flight.
He said he had been met by police at Sydney Airport after an incident with an “overly aggressive flight attendant”.