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A man who was injured during the same shooting that left Nipsey Hussle dead has been arrested for an alleged parole violation, leading the south Los Angeles community to petition for his freedom.
Hussle, born Ermias Asghedom, was shot and killed outside of his Marathon Clothing store on March 31. Kerry Lathan is one of two men who were also shot during the encounter with an armed suspect who police later identified as 29-year-old Eric Holder.
Lathan, who previously served 20 years in prison, was arrested after the shooting for allegedly violating his parole by fraternizing with a known gang member, Los Angeles’ KABC reports. Hussle was open during his life about his former association with the Rollin’ 60s Neighborhood Crips, a gang in his hometown of south Los Angeles.
Lathan was booked in the Men’s Central Jail on April 8, and was still in custody as of Friday, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The 56-year-old has been confined to a wheelchair as result of the shooting, according to TMZ. Lathan had reportedly just gotten out of prison and was with Hussle that day because Hussle was going to gift him some Marathon clothing to help him look his best before seeing his loved ones again, the outlet reports.
Josh Rubenstein, spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department, told the Los Angeles Times that he could not comment on the matter due to the ongoing investigation surrounding Hussle’s death.
Activists are calling on Gov. Gavin Newsom to secure Lathan’s release. Najee Ali, director of Project Islamic Hope, called Lathan’s arrest a “slap in the face” not only to his family, but to the community.
“Nipsey Hussle was a hero, a role model, a unification fighter, a successful business person and entrepreneur who gave everything he could to help people in this community,” Ali said, according to KABC. “That help included trying to help his friend Lathan. We can't continue to have this cycle of criminal justice system that penalizes people who need help.”
Hussle’s death has left south Los Angeles without one of its most prominent leaders. Aside from being a Grammy-nominated artist, Hussle was known for giving back to the community that he grew up in, and was involved in a number of charitable projects in the area.
Holder has been charged with murder and attempted murder in relation to Hussle’s killing. He has pleaded not guilty, and is scheduled to return to court on May 10.
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