The Contested Murder of Latasha Harlins: Justice, Gender, and the Origins of the LA Riots

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Latasha walked to the refrigerator cases in the back, took a bottle of orange juice, put it in her backpack, and approached the cash register with two dollar bills in her hand-the price of the juice. Moments later she was face-down on the floor with a bullet hole in the back of her head, shot dead by Du. The author meticulously reconstructs these events and their aftermath, showing how they set the stage for the explosion in An accomplished historian at UCLA, Stevenson explores the lives of each of these three women-Harlins, Du, and Karlin-and their very different worlds in rich detail.


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  3. The Contested Murder of Latasha Harlins Audiobook | Brenda Stevenson | efusacadudod.tk.

Through the three women, she not only reveals the human reality and social repercussions of this triangular collision, she also provides a deep history of immigration, ethnicity, and gender in modern America. Massively researched, deftly written, The Contested Murder of Latasha Harlins will reshape our understanding of race, ethnicity, gender, and-above all-justice in modern America.

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More Details. Table of Contents. March 16, : not just another Saturday in South Central. LC Subjects.

New book by UCLA historian traces role of gender in 1992 Los Angeles riots

Du, Soon Ja -- Trials, litigation, etc. Harlins, Latasha -- Trials, litigation, etc. Trials Murder -- California. Also in This Series. More Like This. Loading Excerpt Author Notes.

Latasha Harlins and the L.A. riots

Loading Author Notes Similar Series From NoveList. As she turned to walk out of the store, Du shot her in the back of the head. When the police arrived, they found Harlins dead, clutching two dollar bills in her left hand. Six months later, a jury convicted Du of voluntary manslaughter, a crime that carried a penalty of up to 16 years in prison; many thought that Du would face the maximum punishment.

It was one of the most lenient sentences handed down for a gun-related crime in Los Angeles County that year. The community was still working to rebuild from the Watts riots, and this period of redevelopment coincided with a boom in Korean immigration. Throughout the s and s, predominantly black residential neighborhoods south and west of downtown Los Angeles saw an influx of Korean-owned businesses, many of them small markets and corner liquor stores. By , Koreans owned two-thirds of all businesses in South Central. Business owners rarely lived in the neighborhoods where their stores were located, and so had little incentive to get involved in community development.

In many cases, they were probably correct; according to a survey of Korean shopkeepers in New York City, 70 percent believed that blacks were more criminally oriented than whites, and 61 percent believed they were less intelligent. Despite efforts of organizations like the Black-Korean Alliance and the Black-Korean Christian Coalition, mistrust between the two groups was rampant.

The contested murder of Latasha Harlins : justice, gender,

Eight months after Harlins was shot, an unarmed black man ducked into a Korean-owned store to hide from a drive-by shooting; the shopkeeper, believing he was about to be robbed, shot and killed the man. A year before his wife shot Latasha Harlins, Billy Du forced a group of local residents out of his store. Those men, too, had been fleeing a drive-by; one was subsequently shot and killed. Much was made of this culture of fear during the trial.

And the defense team did its best to collapse any distinction between the year-old victim and the gang members who also lived in her neighborhood. In handing down her sentence, Judge Karlin sided with the narrative presented by the defense. In , every person convicted of a similar charge in Los Angeles County had been sentenced to at least some jail time.

Around the same time as the Harlins case, a teenager accidentally shot and killed a friend at a prom party in Orange County both were white. The shooter received the maximum sentence: 16 years. Latasha walked to the refrigerator cases in the back, took a bottle of orange juice, put it in her backpack, and approached the cash register with two dollar bills in her hand-the price of the juice.

Moments later she was face-down on the floor with a bullet hole in the back of her head, shot dead by Du.

The author meticulously reconstructs these events and their aftermath, showing how they set the stage for the explosion in An accomplished historian at UCLA, Stevenson explores the lives of each of these three women-Harlins, Du, and Karlin-and their very different worlds in rich detail. Through the three women, she not only reveals the human reality and social repercussions of this triangular collision, she also provides a deep history of immigration, ethnicity, and gender in modern America.

Massively researched, deftly written, The Contested Murder of Latasha Harlins will reshape our understanding of race, ethnicity, gender, and-above all-justice in modern America. Join our Signed First Edition Club or give a gift subscription for a signed book of great literary merit, delivered to you monthly.


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