Man Shot Alongside Nipsey Hussle And Later Jailed Speaks Out From Behind Bars
Kerry Lathan was arrested for associating with a "known gang member."
A man who was shot alongside Nipsey Hussle and later arrested for associating with the slain rapper has broken his silence.
Kerry Lathan was fresh out of prison following a more than 20-year prison sentence for murder and visited The Marathon Clothing store to do some shopping. Hussle heard about his story and gave Lathan’s sister some clothing.
Lathan didn’t know Nip well and didn’t find out he was famous until later.
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“He might've gave me a couple pictures … When I got out, I took a selfie with him," Lathan told VladTV. "He's a celebrity. Everybody's taking selfies, let me take one. That's on my phone in front of The Marathon Store."
A lack of familiarity didn’t stop Hussle from helping.
"Nipsey heard that I was home and filled up my little sister's backseat of her car with clothing for me,” Lathan recalled. “I was out seven months before this happened."
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On the day of the shooting, Lathan was at Marathon to shop for a funeral and approached Nip about a shirt that was out of stock. The “Racks in the Middle” rapper told him it would be a week. The shooting happened a few moments later.
“The gunman turned around the car and shot me, then shot Nipsey, and then shot my nephew,” Lathan said. “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. I said so they got it wrong if they talking about me being an eyewitness. What was I supposed to do? When I see a gun, I turn around and run. I don't stop and take a selfie of the gunman. It all happened in less than three minutes."
Lathan’s injuries left him confined to a wheelchair. While he was at the hospital for treatment, he was visited by several parole officers. He was eventually taken into custody for violating the terms of his parole. Lathan’s contact with Nip, who was open about his affiliation with the Rollin’ 60s Crips, landed him behind bars.
"When I get [to Men's Central Jail], they say, 'You're here for [a] parole violation,'” he recalled.
“I said, 'For what?' 'Well, coming into contact with a known gang member.' I said, 'Man, I didn't come into contact with nobody.’”
Lawyer Lauren Noriega, who is representing Lathan, told HuffPost he was punished “simply for being at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
“Much like Nipsey Hussle, Mr. Lathan was a reformed gang member who was determined to make a change in his community,” she said. “Unfortunately, Mr. Lathan is facing a potential parole violation because his arrest was made without complete knowledge of the underlying facts. We are zealously pushing for a prompt parole hearing in order to demonstrate that this arrest is not proper.”
Lathan said he was then told he was in jail for being an eyewitness. He is awaiting a parole hearing to decide his fate. A GoFundMe page was created to help with medical and legal fees.
Watch the full interview below:
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