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Reports are flying in about the attack of two young black women last night (22nd July) at MacArthur BART in Oakland, CA. The brutal attack was carried out by a white man aged 25-30, heavy set and thought to be a white supremacist. The suspect approached Nia Wilson, 18, and older sister Tashiya, 20, entirely unprovoked, and proceeded to slit their throats with a knife. Tragically, Nia did not survive the attack, however her sister is still in hospital fighting for her life.
It is unclear how, but the suspect fled the scene and has yet to be apprehended by the police. No CCTV footage has been released of the man in question and there doesn't appear to be a great deal of information surrounding the incident being spread to the wider public, despite the threat that it poses to the black community in the area. In an Instagram video of the aftermath of the event, it appears the station is running entirely as normal and there is a distinct absence of police or cordons protecting potential evidence. Lawyer Beilal Chatila, who originally shared the video, comments "The [murder] weapon was found in the area where there is construction going on, but there isn't a single officer, the station is fully operating... and the killer is still on the loose. @bart_police @oaklandpoliceca why is this killing not being properly investigated? I'm outraged." The video has since been shared by singer-songwriter Kehlani to her nearly 6 million followers.
It has been speculated by some social media users that an alt-right group named The Proud Boys were scheduled to meet in the area this evening and that the two incidents may be connected. Several other users have shared the image of a white man they believe to be the perpetrator, however it is unclear whether he is the man who killed Nia Wilson last night.
On her Instagram, Kehlani has expressed her outrage at the fact that the killer is still at large. "you manage to catch riders who haven't paid ticket fair, and young graffiti artists with your cameras and operators. YOU CAN CATCH A MURDERER." She writes, "you are being held accountable. give her family and the families of all young black women in the bay area some peace, get a racist murderer off the streets."
Disregarding the value of a black life by police in America is nothing new. Many unarmed, young black people are needlessly killed by the police every year and police brutality seems like a daily occurrence. Several weeks ago, a video of a white woman, who the internet dubbed "Permit Patty" calling the police on a child selling water was proof of how skewed the system is towards white people. No matter what the problem, white people have no fear that the police will be on their side.
In the wake of this murder, activists and supporters are encouraging people to use the #NiaWilson in order to raise awareness about this horrifying attack. Civil Rights activist Shaun King told his followers in a post that Nia Wilson's name "needs to be the #1 trending topic in the country" right now and that a "national manhunt" is needed to find her killer. King also shared a video of Nia and Tashiya's father speaking just moments after his daughters were attacked, asking for justice for his daughters. At the time of the video, the police had told him no information about the suspected attacker.
The message to Oakland residents is that the safety of young, black women in the area has been compromised and until justice is served everyone must be vigilant if we hope to avoid another fatality.