This Black Lives Matter #MannequinChallenge highlights police shootings and it's incredibly powerful


An American Vine star has directed a Mannequin Challenge video that recreates the deaths of unarmed black men.

The viral trend is the latest thing to take over our social media feeds, following in the steps of planking and the ice bucket challenge. Everyone from sports teams to Hillary Clinton to the Kardashians have been doing tableaus set to Rae Sremmurd's Black Beatles.

But Simone Shepherd's short clip, posted on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, is unlike any Mannequin Challenge we've seen yet. As the camera pans across several different scenes and a heartbeat pulses in the background, the cast of Black in Blue - an upcoming film which explores the relationship between black people and the police in America - use their poses to highlight police brutality.

And the Mannequin Challenge powerfully recreates some of the most high-profile incidents which led to the Black Lives Matter campaign.

It first depicts the death of Philando Castile, who was shot dead in July by a police officer in Minnesota during a traffic stop. His girlfriend streamed the aftermath of his death live on Facebook.

Max Becherer/AP
Sandra Sterling, the aunt of Alton Sterling, cries after viewing his body (Max Becherer/AP)

Also depicted is Alton Sterling, 37, who was shot dead by two white police officers in Louisiana outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge, also in July.

That incident was caught on video too and the shocking recordings were broadcast worldwide. Gunshots can be heard during the Mannequin Challenge as they recreate the scene of Sterling's death.

There are also references to Trayvon Martin - an unarmed teenager shot in Florida in 2012 - and Colin Kaepernick, the NFL player who knelt during the national anthem at games in a protest about racial inequality.

Many people on Twitter have been applauding the clip.

Shepherd, who has 3.1 million Vine followers, used clips from a speech by American civil rights figure Malcolm X in the Mannequin Challenge.

She told Newsbeat: "I thought it was important to remind people of an issue that has still not been fully addressed by our government...

"I think black people as a whole have to be more vigilant since the election of Trump.

"A portion of Trump supporters are open racists and white supremacists who think his win validates their ridiculous actions towards people of colour."