Denise Harlins, who became an activist against gun violence after a 15-year-old niece was fatally shot by a Korean store owner in South Los Angeles, died December 25 of congestive heart failure.
Denise Harlins’ activism began after her niece, Latasha Harlins, was shot and killed on March 16, 1991 by Korean store owner Soon Ja Du.
Latasha Harlins’ killing and Du’s $500 fine for her voluntary manslaughter conviction are considered causes for the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
“[Denise] Harlins became a staunch activist who led the protests demanding justice for her murdered niece and continued to speak out against gun violence and violence against children as well as calling for racial unity,” said Ali, a friend of Harlins and the CEO of Project Islamic Hope.
A candlelight vigil will be held at 5 p.m. Wednesday at 4343 Leimert Blvd. in Leimert Park Village, according to Harlins’ family and Ali.