Along with the tragic death of Nipsey Hussle, the Crenshaw community was dealt another injustice when one of Nipsey's alleged associates was also wounded in the incident and sent back to prison for a parole violation. Now, for the first time since the murder, Kerry Lathan sheds light on his connection with Hussle and the moments leading up to the rapper's death.
On Monday, VladTV uploaded a video to their YouTube channel featuring an interview with Lathan. Unlike most of Vlad's videos, Lathan was not able to be featured in their studio due to his recent incarceration. However, via phone, he explained that he only knew Nipsey through their mutual friend Big U.
"[Nipsey] was a child. He was probably eight years old or seven when I got locked up," Lathan said. "I took a selfie with him because that's a celebrity. Everyone was taking pictures with him."
It was this perceived affiliation with a known gang member like Nipsey Hussle that led to his current fight for freedom. Lathan originally received a 26-to-life prison sentence for murder. However, he was released on parole in Sept. of 2018 after severing 24 years of his initial sentence. Since his release, he had been attempting to adjust to his freedom with the help of childhood friends like Big U. Lathan had also been open to accepting aid from various community members including Nipsey Hussle. In fact, Hussle's attempt to help Lathan led him to his Marathon Clothing Store the day he was killed.
"Me and my nephew were going up the street to console someone's parents... and he said 'you don't have to keep wearing that shirt, Unc,'" Lathan began. "You in the new world now, you not in prison you don't have to keep wearing that shirt. Matter of fact there goes Nipsey in the lot right now he'll give you a fresh new white shirt."
However, the shirt Lathan wanted was out of stock. So, he went out into the parking lot where Nipsey was standing to ask him when they would be getting a new shipment. It was at that point when the gunman opened fire hitting Lathan, another associate, and Hussle.
"He said, 'There go Nipsey in the lot, go talk to him.' And I talked to him and he said 'that'll be about a week, bro.' I said, 'Okay.' And when I said it it was all bad," Lathan continued. "The gunman turned around the car and shot me, shot Nipsey, and then shot my nephew."
While many were mourning the death of a community icon, Lathan didn't even get a chance to properly heal his wounds before being detained by authorities. At first, Lathan thought he was in jail for a minor parole violation. But due to his criminal history and the occupants of the store, Lathan is now being held on the more serious violation rooted in gang-injunction laws.
"I just did 25-years-to-life" Lathan states. "Y'all release me then want to throw me back in jail for coming into contact with a gang member? Whose really a voice and piece of the public? Which one is it? They have to make heads and tails of what's going on."
Lathan is currently being held at Men's Central Jail in Los Angeles as he awaits trial for a possible ten-year prison sentence. He has retained Attorney Lauren Noriega for representation and those close to the situation are asking Nipsey's fans to help contribute to Lathan's cause.