Los Angeles, CA–Eric Holder Jr., has been convicted of first degree murder in the death of Ermias Asghedom. Jurors deliberated shortly for no more than perhaps two hours before coming back with a verdict. This was 30 minutes following 8 days of testimony and around a hour or so after court resumed following the Fourth of July weekend.
The trial was anticipated by the community and people beyond Los Angeles, which took over three years to happen and received minimal media coverage in comparison to Nipsey Hussle’s death.
When Los Angeles rapper and businessman Nipsey Hussle was shot and killed on a quiet Sunday afternoon in 2019, it seemed as though media from all four corners of the world descended upon Slauson and Crenshaw within the South L.A/South Central community.
Suddenly, after years of being undermined and overall overshadowed by mainstream media outside of gang-related violence or fluff pieces, the areas where Black’s are predominately nestled within L.A County was the main topic of conversation in the news.
Media rushed to publish, shape and control narratives surrounding Nipsey Hussle’s murder. A conversation that may or may not have happened revolving around “snitching” quickly became the narrative which supposedly led to such a brash and irrational act which stole the life of Ermias.
Since Nipsey Hussle was a known gang-member, we were supposed to disregard the fact he was robbed of his god given right to life, stolen from his family and ripped from the legacy he was in full swing of establishing as a former ghetto youth turned businessman.
If the death of Ermias was not upsetting enough, some of the conversation and attempts at justifying his murder due to “street politics” shows just how inner cities across the U.S are stuck within a cycle of arrested development.
Gang culture has truly redirected the energy of Black (and Brown) communities which were already in an oppressed state by our government. Instead of using their rightful frustrations to organize within the community, many are lost within a daily state of turmoil from the crimes, drugs and demons that control and torment their lives.
Many want folks to disregard Ermias aka Nipsey Hussle as just another gangbanger but that’s the furthest thing from the truth. Beyond just a rap career, the average gang member in Los Angeles is not operating several businesses, a clothing brand and breaking into the legal world of cannabis with their own dispensaries.
Your average gang member in L.A is not acquiring the same property they hustled, fought and got arrested at. The same property that police harassed and surveilled them, in attempts to stop the legal flow of revenue to Black men they viewed as disposable, ignorant and just low-life gangbangers.
When the trial was underway, it was infuriating to see the case be presented the way it was. Nipsey Hussle’s family decided not to attend the trial and who could blame them? Who wants to hear not only intimate details of their loved ones death, but have to sit through such malarkey.
Attorney Aaron Jansen wanted the jury to consider manslaughter in Holder’s case, while the prosecution asked for Holder to be charged with murder, as well two counts of attempted murder for injuring two other people during the shooting.
A “crime of passion” was really allowed to be presented as a defense, despite the prosecution having Holder on video during the shooting. A crime of passion was supposed to be reason enough to kill someone because you are a gang member with a mental health history. What kind of messages does that send to the public especially impressionable young people who are in gangs and already misguided?
The death of Ermias “Nipsey Hussle Asghedom” is a constant reminder of the work that needs to be done to shift the consciousness of a people who continue to be victimized and in turn, victimize each other. We are at the age now however where accountability comes into play.
The average gang member in the inner city is severely handicapped due to his experiences of incarceration. The mental anguish, trauma and PTSD they experience and often leave prison with, is nothing but a hinderance to their growth, healthy lives and relationships.
The story of Nipsey Hussle is even more important because he was able to sidestep the traps of being forced to sit down for years, even decades due to incarceration. This allowed him the freedom to follow through with the visions that he had for himself, his family and his future which he ultimately achieved.
Just because you grew up in the inner city, does not mean you do not have valuable contributions to add to this world.
Nipsey Hussle would have owned way more than the strip mall on Slauson and Crenshaw if he was not killed and that’s just a fact. Beyond rap, his business acumen supported by his brother Samiel aka Blacc Sam and the dedicated team they built around them was unmatched and should always be highlighted and honored.
Long live the spirit of our hometown hero, someone who seriously reinstalled a sense of pride for us as ghetto youth and our communities.
Ermias Asghedom taught us that although we grew up in the ghetto that does not mean you cannot achieve greatness. You have to stay committed, anything worth having does not come overnight.
In his famous words, Life’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.
Hard work. Dedication plus patience.
With the opening of the new Marathon Collective dispensary and a new Marathon Clothing store said to be in the works in the Melrose/Fairfax area, Nipsey Hussle’s family and team are showing us that the Marathon Continues. It would be nice to see some movement on the Slauson and Crenshaw property, which has been closed since Nipsey was killed in 2019, but that’s a whole other story.
Visit The Marathon Collective
7011 Canoga Ave, Canoga Park, CA 91303
“Up in the county have a couple fights a day I’m in my bunk tryna map a brighter day
You underestimated seven digits later see how I levitated
You see how I play it player
Know that I know but you see how I never say it
You wasn’t never there we the ones took all the risks and wasn’t never scared
We took it everywhere put the hood in my vein and my name just to make it clear
Y’all niggas is Hollyweird you get zero respect in the set you is not a peer
If the killers round the table politickin know your name we know that you not appearing” -Nipsey Hussle