Latasha Lavon Harlins was born on January 1st,1976 in East St. Louis, Illinois. She was a loving devoted person who enjoyed being around family and friends and helping others. Latasha was a student at Westchester High School in Los Angeles, California. She was an honor roll student and dreamed of becoming a lawyer before that was stripped away from her.
Latasha was a 15-year-old African-American girl who was unlawfully shot and killed by a Korean American store-owner. She insisted that Latasha was attempting to steal a $1.79 bottle of orange juice. Police concluded that Latasha was not shoplifting and had the $2.00 dollars in her hand when she was killed. Even though Latasha Harlins death was recorded on security footage, there was still no justice brought to the Harlins Family.
The Superior Court Judge sentenced the Korean American store-owner to 5 years of probation, 400 hours of community service and paid restitution to the Harlins family for funeral expenses. The community was outranged and hurt about the verdict…the value of a black life matters. The Harlins family fought for justice for decades. Latasha’s death was one of the leading catalyst of the 1992 uprising in Los Angeles.