Nia Wilson: Woman Killed By White Supremacist On San Francisco BART System
Eighteen-year-old Nia Wilson and her sister Letifah, 26, were just trying to get home.
Nia was fresh out of Oakland High School and had her mind set on higher education: Criminal justice or something in the legal field.
The siblings were headed from a family function when a white convict allegedly attacked them at the BART MacArthur Station in Oakland, California.
The suspect, John Lee Cowell, has been identified as a white supremacist by commentators but authorities have yet to make that connection, although they are exploring it. Nevertheless, Cowell has a long a history of violence as well as a vicious criminal record.
Nia and Letifah were stabbed in the neck, but only Nia died at the scene, according to news reports.
"She's just yelling my name, ‘Tifah, Tifah, Tifah.’ And I said, ‘I got you baby, I got you,'" Letifah told ABC7 News. Her sister said she felt guilt over the slaying: "I'm her protector and I feel like I didn't protect her."
BART Police Chief Carlos Rojas told reporters: “Everything that we’ve uncovered up to this point, we see no altercation. We don’t have any information that there was any type of dispute. It looks like it was an unprovoked, unwarranted, vicious attack.”
Witnesses said the suspect didn't say a word to the two sisters but just slashed them with a knife and coldly wiped it clean as they both were on the shuttle floor.
Cowell's record includes multiple violent offenses, Rojas said. He was freed from prison on parole just this past spring for robbing a store with a box cutter and a fake gun, according to NBC Bay Area Channel 11.
Hundreds of people protested the killing in the streets the day after the slaying, chanting Nia's name and demanding justice.
Actress Anne Hathaway penned a damning Instagram post, calling for white allies to stand up for Wilson.
"The murder of Nia Wilson- may she rest in the power and peace she was denied here- is unspeakable AND MUST NOT be met with silence. She is not a hash tag; she was a black woman and she was murdered in cold blood by a white man," Hathaway wrote.
"White people- including me, including you- must take into the marrow of our privileged bones the truth that ALL black people fear for their lives DAILY in America and have done so for GENERATIONS. White people DO NOT have equivalence for this fear of violence."
Mayor Libby Schaaf spoke out on the killing, saying "As the Mayor of Oakland, it’s important I acknowledge that this horrific crime has a context, she said. "Although investigators currently have no evidence to conclude that this tragedy was racially motivated or that the suspect was affiliated with any hate groups, the fact that his victims were both young African American women stirs deep pain and palpable fear in all of us who acknowledge the reality that our country still suffers from a tragic and deeply racist history."
A GoFundMe set up for Nia's burial says this: "My little sister 18 year old Nia Wilson was on bart in Oakland ca, heading home with her other two other sister’s on her father’s side of the family, (Nia older sister was also stabbed and is currently in the hospital in icu) when Nia was randomly attacked and stabbed to death by a White supremacy male who has yet to be arrested for this hate crime.
Nia was a 18 year old young woman who was full of life, smart and beautiful beyond word’s. Nia loved to do makeup, hair and get dolled up and enjoy life. Nia is a very caring and giving person who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Shouldn’t no mother or father have to put their 18 year old innocent child to rest because of a hateful inconsiderate person. We just want justice for Nia. Please for my family thank you. Nia will be loved and missed by so many family and friends. Please let’s end racism all over the world Nia did not deserve this."