Serena Williams writes powerful message on police violence: ‘I won't be silent’
Serena Williams penned a letter on Facebook about police violence against minorities on Tuesday, writing that she fears for the safety of her 18-year-old nephew.
In her message, Williams details how she became nervous after seeing a police officer alongside the road as her nephew drove her to an appointment.
Williams's letter comes on the heels of two high–profile police killings of black men. Protests recently broke out after Keith Lamont Scott and Terence Crutcher were fatally shot by police in separate incidents in Charlotte and Tulsa, Okla., respectively. Williams's letter also references the shooting of Philando Castile, whose death in Minnesota at the hands of a police officer was captured on video by his girlfriend.
The full letter can be read below:
“Today I asked my 18 year old nephew (to be clear he's black) to drive me to my meetings so I can work on my phone #safteyfirst. In the distance I saw cop on the side of the road. I quickly checked to see if he was obliging by the speed limit. Than I remembered that horrible video of the woman in the car when a cop shot her boyfriend. All of this went through my mind in a matter of seconds. I even regretted not driving myself. I would never forgive myself if something happened to my nephew. He's so innocent. So were all "the others"
I am a total believer that not "everyone" is bad It is just the ones that are ignorant, afraid, uneducated, and insensitive that is affecting millions and millions of lives.
Why did I have to think about this in 2016? Have we not gone through enough, opened so many doors, impacted billions of lives? But I realized we must stride on- for it's not how far we have come but how much further still we have to go.
I than (sic) wondered than have I spoken up? I had to take a look at me. What about my nephews? What if I have a son and what about my daughters? As Dr. Martin Luther King said " There comes a time when silence is betrayal".
Williams has previously spoken out about police brutality and gun violence in America, and she offered encouragement to Black Lives Matter last year. Her half-sister was killed in a 2003 drive-by shooting in Los Angeles.