Celebrities and sports stars from LeBron James to Katy Perry weigh in on US race protests

LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers shoots a free-throw as his team crushed the Orlando Magic 106-74 last night before he weighed in on social media about a grand jury decision not to prosecute a white policeman for shooting and killing
LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers shoots a free-throw as his team crushed the Orlando Magic 106-74 last night before he weighed in on social media about a grand jury decision not to prosecute a white policeman for shooting and killing an unarmed black teenager.-- PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Celebrities and sports stars voiced frustration and urged restraint on Tuesday following violent protests over the decision not to prosecute a white police officer for the killing of an unarmed black teen.

Magic Johnson, Chris Rock and LeBron James were among those tweeting after a night of unrest in Ferguson, Missouri linked to the death of aspiring college student Michael Brown, 18.

"The system enables young black men to be killed behind the mask of law," wrote basketball icon Kobe Bryant, while filmmaker Spike Lee posted a photo of the slain teen with the caption "We are Mike Brown."

"I am very disappointed with decision in Mike Brown case in Ferguson, MO," wrote Johnson, another National Basketball Association legend. "We must work together to stop the unnecessary loss of young men of colour. Justice was not served in Ferguson."

Grammy-winning white rapper Macklemore added: "The system that instills and protects white supremacy wins again. Humanity loses. No justice. I pray for Mike Brown and his family. So sad."

Singer Katy Perry, on tour in Australia, tweeted: "Feeling stuck all the way over here in Sydney seeing the news just now... Sending my prayers to Ferguson & praying for an equal America."

Cher said "Have problem re decision not 2bring 2 trial police who shot young man near St Louis," but added: "Having said that, violence is NOT the ANSWER. I vote 2change state laws. There must be change in attitude and BALANCE in police and lawmakers."

"I'm heartbroken over the news of no indictment in Ferguson. Let's all pray for peace," said Happy star musician Pharrell Williams.

Black US comedian Rock quoted civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois, saying: "A system cannot fail those it was never meant to protect."

Girls creator and actress Lena Dunham tweeted love to Brown's family, adding: "I applaud their strength and courage, mourn their loss, pray they see justice and change."

Cleveland Cavaliers basketball superstar James posted a picture of Brown walking arm in arm with Trayvon Martin, another black youth controversially killed. "As a society how do we do better and stop things like this happening time after time!! I'm so sorry," he wrote.

Tennis champion Serena Williams simply wrote: "Wow. Just wow. Shameful. What will it take?"