“We spoke this week by phone about the protests against police brutality that are sweeping the country. Williams’s plight has again bubbled to the surface on social media—as it has during other moments of public police abuse against black communities—offering a vivid reminder of the price that protesters can be forced to pay for their activism. Williams, who recently lost his mother to cancer— ‘talked to her everyday. She cussed me out before she went away, so she’s alright,’ he told me, laughing sadly—explained that he is optimistic about his parole hearing, and heartened to see the size and scale of the protests across the globe, he said. ‘At this time, everybody should band together,’ Williams told me, speaking from Missouri Eastern Correctional Center. ‘It’s like a power. If everybody is down and out, then we all stand up together, and help each other out through hard times.’”