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‘It’s blue rags and murders out here.’ Los Angeles simmers at the announcement of LAPD arrest in Nipsey Hussle shooting

in Crime/Major Collaborative Project/Nipsey Hussle Shooting by

Tension in South Los Angeles cools when residents learned that the Nipsey Hussle shooting suspect, Eric Holder, was apprehended.

On Tuesday, Los Angeles police arrested Holder at a mental health facility in Bellflower, California, a suburb of the city. At the psychiatric hospital, Holder attempted to be admitted when someone identified him then called law enforcement. After capture, he cooperated with police and has been taken into custody. It is alleged that Holder has past mental health issues.

Days after the death of Mr. Ermias Ashgedom, whose performance name was Nipsey Hussle, Holder’s arrest was a citywide effort. A public statement by the Los Angeles Police Department thanked residents for tips that led them to the suspect. Residents gave up-to-date information such as footage and photos through social media and smartphones that pointed to the identity of the shooter.

Forecast for the summer: the people predict that it will be hot

Leading up to Holder’s arrest, Ark Republic sources said Angelenos expressed concern with the possibility of a rise in violence. “It’s blue rags and murders out here,” says Ark Republic contributor Matito Ki’Abayomi who described the increasing rumored talk that Crip gang members might take retributive action.

Both, Holder and Mr. Ashgedom, had close ties and possible membership in the Rolling 60s, a Crip gang with a history of internal conflict that has led to violent in-fighting. There are still anxieties that the recent killing will trigger internal feuds that can spill outside of the group.

Unease from residents started after Mr. Ashgedom’s death. People questioned the motive of someone who would kill a beloved local, rising star that the city largely embraced. Even the LAPD expressed shock of the crime. They revealed Mr. Ashgedom requested a meeting with law officials to offer solutions and strategies to deal with the recent spike of gun violence in the city. Mr. Ashgedom was number 26 in the list of people shot, and the tenth to die in a week.

“The mood is still dry here, we’re all still trying to process. People are still crying because somebody did something you don’t do in the Black community, shoot people who really [are] out here doing something,” says Ki’Abayomi.

Throughout the city, residents pay their respects to Mr. Ashgedom. “Everybody bumping his music … in their cars, at the [marijuana] dispensaries, on the radio … we all just got punched in the gut. It’s like we can’t have shit,” describes Ki’Abayomi.

 

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Mr. Ashgedom was a rapper-turned-entrepreneur and philanthropist who began to transform parts of the Crenshaw District left largely neglected after the 1992 civil unrest. With his partner, Dave Gross, he invested in real estate and multiple ventures such as tech and coworking spaces to assist entrepreneurs in South Los Angeles to create their own companies.

Another part of Mr. Ashgedom’s activism was to provide affordable housing in a rapidly shifting city. Currently, Los Angeles is experiencing a boom with an added metro line and an NFL franchise on its way. A 3 minute walk from Marathon Clothing is the newest addition of the rail system that goes right down the middle of Crenshaw Avenue. Mr. Ashgedom planned to tear down the mini-mall to build smart stores with a 100 unit housing facility on top.

For several days, thousands of people gathered outside of the same Marathon Clothing store until a melee on Monday night. Exploding candles that spewed shrapnel into a nearby crowd sent others into a panic that turned into a stampede. In the mass chaos 19 people were injured. However, memorials across the country pay respects to Mr. Ashgedom.

While people wait to see what will happen, whispers of a “hot summer” linger.

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