South LA playground renamed after Latasha Harlins, teen shot and killed at a convenience store

Children are seen hanging out in the playground where Latasha Harlins grew up. The slain teen's mural already decorates the entrance of the Sutton Rec Center.

The smiling face of a 15-year-old who has been on the minds of many in this area as police brutality has become the focus of renewed calls for justice, just like March of 1991.

That was when the Harlins walked into a market/liquor store off Figueroa and got into an altercation with the store owner, a Korean woman who was behind the counter that day. Soon Ja Du would later say she thought the girl was stealing a $1.89 bottle of orange juice and that she feared for her life. The altercation took a violent turn as Du grabbed a gun and opened fire at the 15-year-old girl, killing her.

Du was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. The judge in her case sentenced her to time served in prison while waiting for the trial, a fine and community service. Sher served her probation from her San Fernando Valley home.

Many believe Harlin's death and the Rodney King beating contributed to the 1992 LA riots.

As we head into the trial of an officer charged in the death of George Floyd, whose name has been so much a part of the latest protests and calls for justice by groups like Black Lives Matter, many are saying that the names of Latasha Harlins and Rodney King remain as relevant today as they were 30 years ago.

The Latasha Harlins Foundation, which granted scholarships for children in the South LA neighborhood where she grew up, stopped for a while, but family members tell us to keep looking for it, as it is being restarted by her cousin, Shinese Harlins-Kilgore, who says they want to honor her memory, by celebrating her life.

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