Williams says she was hit with tear gas fired by police while peacefully protesting in Atlanta on Tuesday more than an hour before the city's 9 o'clock curfew.
As she has been doing for days now, Porsha Williams again took to the streets on Tuesday in her native Atlanta to join the protests in the wake of the public killing of George Floyd while in Minneapolis PD custody.
Capturing the moment in a video to her Instagram, Williams was showing the crowd when pandemonium erupted within a minute.
After she found shelter, the "Real Housewives of Atlanta" star said that Atlanta PD had shot tear gas at their peaceful protest assembly even though it was more than an hour before the city's 9 p.m. curfew.
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"It was devastating to feel like I was out there trying to stand with my people, stand with our allies, and help them raise a message of hope and to be silenced and not able to breathe because of the gas bomb that was thrown," Williams told People Wednesday night.
But she said the scary experience actually only served to further empower her, giving her "another level of strength" to get back out there and make sure her voice is heard alongside so many Americans fighting against police brutality against black Americans and a generations-spanning system of racism.
She urged anyone out there struggling with continuing pushback from law enforcement, many moments which have been caught on film and led to more firings and disciplinary action, to "stay focused on the cause" and stick with it.
The four officers involved in the death of 44-year-old George Floyd were quickly fired, and now all four are up on various charges related to his death. Floyd was taken into custody over an alleged counterfeit $20 bill.
Derek Chauvin, who had his knee pressed against Floyd's neck on the ground for nearly nine minutes, is facing 2nd-degree murder and 2nd-degree manslaughter charges. Former officers Thomas Lane, J.A. Keung and Tou Thao were all charged with aiding and abetting in Floyd's murder.
"Right now I am pushing through with a heavy heart for everyone, for the people who live in this country, for my brothers and sisters. I'm searching for answers and the same unrest that's going on in our country is going on within me to find a way to be most effective in this movement for Black Lives Matter."
Floyd's last moments were captured by a young onlooker -- one among many pleading, as was Floyd, for the officers to let him up or at least offer him some relief to breathe -- on video, but Williams admitted that it took her a full day before she could watch it in its entirety.
"It was hard for me to gather myself and watch something and know that it was happening again to another black man," she said. And she admitted struggling with it, even feeling tempted to fast-forward throught it, but she resisted.
"Because he went through it, I felt that it was important for me to see it and feel all of it, to hear every cry, so that at the end of that video, I would be so passionate, so driven by what I felt," she said.
"I wanted to make sure that I gathered it all, felt every bit, to use it to be able to channel it into a message to help a movement so that this comes to an end."
She called for law enforcement and civic leaders to look at what happens when police officers kneel and march and let the protesters know that they are being heard. "It turns the mood of the protests," she said.
"As long as the people don't feel like they're being heard, they're being ignored, they're being gassed, they're being silenced, they can't breathe because of the gas that they're throwing at us, the rubber bullets, then this will not stop," she continued, urging them and everyone to stand on the "right side of history."
"People want to see change and the time for the change is now. The people are serious this time. We do mean no justice, no peace."