Latasha Harlins: 25 Years Later, Vigil to Honor Black Teen Killed Over Bottle of Orange Juice

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Latasha Harlins, 15, was fatally shot by Korean grocer Soon Ja Du on March 16, 1991 — two weeks after the Rodney King beating. (Credit: Los Angeles Times)

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Latasha Harlins, 15, was fatally shot by Korean grocer Soon Ja Du on March 16, 1991 -- two weeks after the Rodney King beating. (Credit: Los Angeles Times)
Latasha Harlins, 15, was fatally shot by Korean grocer Soon Ja Du on March 16, 1991 -- two weeks after the Rodney King beating. (Credit: Los Angeles Times)

Two weeks after the beating of Rodney King, a Korean-born shopkeeper shot a 15-year-old black girl named Latasha Harlins in the back of her head in a dispute over a bottle of orange juice.

Unlike King, the teen did not live to tell about it.

Ruth Harlins, center, in scarf, grandmother of Latasha Harlins, and other family and community members raise candles in memory of Latasha on the 25th anniversary of her shooting death along Figueroa Street in Los Angeles. (Credit: Genaro Molina)
Ruth Harlins, center, in scarf, grandmother of Latasha Harlins, and other family and community members raise candles in memory of Latasha on the 25th anniversary of her shooting death along Figueroa Street in Los Angeles. (Credit: Genaro Molina)

The two racially charged incidents sparked outrage in Los Angeles that eventually boiled over into the 1992 L.A. riots. Some rioters invoked the teenager's name as they torched buildings in South L.A.

On Wednesday, the 25th anniversary of Latasha's death, her family and community activists gathered at the site where she was slain, holding candles and sharing memories of her brief life.

Click here to read the full story on LATimes.com.

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