Black Eyed Peas star will.i.am has described the US police force as a "terror squad" which has "inflicted fear" on that country's black and brown youth.

The 45-year-old rapper, who grew up on a housing project in Los Angeles before becoming a pop star, 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."