Sisters Nia and Lahtifa Wilson were headed home from a family gathering Sunday night when the unthinkable happened: Police say 27-year-old paroled felon John Lee Cowell fatally stabbed 18-year-old Nia in a "prison-style attack" on an Oakland train station platform; her 26-year-old sister was injured. Police have framed the attack as random, though many have speculated over whether there was racial motivation involved. And in the aftermath of Nia's death, a national conversation has emerged around race that has reeled in some big-name celebs and brought a thoughtful post from Anne Hathaway that's generating headlines. The timeline:
- Outrage erupted and F-bombs got lobbed over Oakland news station KTVU's coverage of Wilson's death. Its report featured a photo of Wilson from her Facebook page; in it, she appears to be holding a gun. The Daily Dot notes Wilson's page featured "tens of other photos" that could have been used in place of that image. Many said the choice fueled a larger trend involving the criminalization of black victims.
- And it wasn't even a gun. As Shaun King explains in a lengthy Facebook post, it was just a cell-phone case with a gun handle, "basically a gag– and the local news showed it like it said something about Nia’s character. ... Even in death, local news media finds a way to demean us."