The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

California, Florida—No Difference

Jul 22, 2013

Los Angeles is no different than Florida, which acquitted Zimmerman.

On March 16, 1991, Latasha Harlins was killed by a store owner in Los Angeles. Harlins was black; the store owner, Soon Ja Du, was a Korean-American.

Harlins was in the store to purchase a bottle of orange juice. The store owner decided that Harlins would steal the juice and started to manhandle Harlins. Harlins freed herself, put the bottle on the counter and attempted to leave the store. The store owner shot Harlins in the back of her head as she was leaving. Harlins died with $2 in her hand. She was 15 years old.

The jury found the store owner guilty of voluntary manslaughter, which carried a maximum sentence of 16 years in prison at the time. The judge, however, disagreed with the jury–giving the murderer only five years of probation.

The judge explained: “Did Mrs. Du react inappropriately? Absolutely. But was that reaction understandable? I think that it was.”

So, according to the judge, when a black person is killed, the action is “understandable.”

This killing happened just two weeks after four police officers brutally beat Rodney King. It was violence like this against black people that led to an uprising in Los Angeles in 1992.