Los Angeles

Local Activist Against Gun Violence Involved in Lead-Up to LA Riots Dies

A woman who became an activist against gun violence after a 15-year-old niece was fatally shot by a Korean store owner in South Los Angeles died Tuesday.

Denise Harlins' activism began after her 15-year-old niece, Latasha Harlins, was shot and killed on March 16, 1991 by Soon Ja Du, according to activist Najee Ali, who announced Harlins' death from congestive heart failure.

Harlins' killing and Du's $500 fine for her voluntary manslaughter conviction are considered causes for the 1992 Los Angeles riots.

"Harlins became a staunch activist who led the protests demanding justice for her murdered niece and continued to speak out against gun violence and violence against children as well as calling for racial unity," said Ali, a friend of Harlins and the CEO of Project Islamic Hope.

A candlelight vigil will be held at 5 p.m. Wednesday at 4343 Leimert Blvd. in Leimert Park Village, according to Harlins' family and Ali.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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