Kerry Lathan was one of the other two men who was shot when Nipsey Hussle was gunned down in Los Angeles last month, and he recently spoke out. Lathan was shot in the back and is now confined to a wheelchair, but he was unable to recover at home.
Instead, the 56-year-old was sent to jail for parole violation, because he associated with Hussle, who often talked about being a member of the Rollin’ 60s Crips.
Lathan was released from prison in September 2018 after serving 24 years on a 1994 murder conviction. Once out, he was willing to receive help from people in the community, and Hussle assisted by giving him clothing. Before that Lathan claims he didn’t know the rapper.
“Nipsey heard that I was home and filled up my little sister’s backseat of her car with clothing for me,” he told VladTV. “I was out seven months before this happened.”
But the shooting occurred on another day when Lathan and his nephew were going to console someone who had lost their father, and Lathan needed a new shirt to wear.
“‘You don’t have to keep wearing that shirt, Unc,’” he said his nephew told him. ‘You in the new world now, you not in prison. Matter of fact, there goes Nipsey in the lot right now. He’ll give you a fresh new white shirt.’”
But Lathan found out the shirt was out of stock, so he asked Nipsey when it would arrive, and that’s when the shooter, whom police have named as Eric Holder, opened fire.
“The gunman turned around the car and shot me, then shot Nipsey and then shot my nephew,” he explained. “I didn’t know what was going on; I fell on my stomach. All I could see was people’s feet. I couldn’t see nothing else.”
Then once at the hospital, parole officers showed up and took Lathan to
Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles, where they told him that he violated parole for being with Hussle.
“I just did 25-years-to-life” said Lathan. “Y’all release me, then want to throw me back in jail for coming into contact with a gang member who’s really a voice and piece of the public? Which one is it? They have to make heads and tails of what’s going on.”
While speaking to the HuffPost, Lauren Noriega, an attorney who’s representing Lathan, said her client is “a potential parole violation simply for being at the wrong place at the wrong time.” She also suggested Lathan didn’t know about Hussle’s gang affiliation.
“Unfortunately, Mr. Lathan is facing a potential parole violation because his arrest was made without complete knowledge of the underlying facts,” she stated. “We are zealously pushing for a prompt parole hearing in order to demonstrate that this arrest is not proper.”
A GoFundMe Page has been set up for Kerry to assist with legal fees and medical bills. The page lists a goal of $55,000, and as of Thursday, April 18, a little over $17,000 has been reached.