The daughter of attorney Christopher Darden says she’s been flooded with “vile comments and messages” because her father is representing the man accused of killing rapper Nipsey Hussle.
“My father is a grown man and has been a defense attorney for some time. I have no say in the cases he takes on,” Jeneé Darden wrote in a statement posted to Instagram Sunday.
Christopher Darden rose to prominence as one of the prosecutors in O.J. Simpson’s 1995 murder trial. He now works as a law professor and defense lawyer.
Jeneé said backlash over her dad’s involvement in the Nipsey Hussle case has brought back memories of the O.J. Simpson trial, which saw the ex-NFL star acquitted of killing his former wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ronald Goldman.
“Like many of you, I found out about my father’s involvement in the case while scrolling through social media,” she said. “I was not prepared for this backlash that has triggered bad memories from the O.J. Simpson trial.”
Jeneé went on to say she understands the pain Hussle’s fans are going through.
“I grew up in a community similar to Nipsey’s and was saddened by news of his death,” she continued. “So I understand why it hurts deeply when we lose young, talented black men like him who are committed to empowering people.”
But she urged the rapper’s admirers to channel their energy toward working to improve the black community, rather than harassing strangers online.
“Instead of attacking me and others who have nothing to do with this case, channel that energy toward continuing Nipsey’s legacy in strengthening our communities and lifting up each other,” she said.
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Hussle, real name Ermias Asghedom, was fatally shot on March 31 outside his Marathon Clothing store in South Los Angeles. Two other men were wounded in the attack.
The 33-year-old rapper leaves behind two children and his girlfriend, actress Lauren London.
After a two-day manhunt, 29-year-old Eric Holder was arrested in nearby Bellflower in connection with the rapper’s killing.
Holder has been charged with one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. He pleaded not guilty last week, and is being held on $5 million bail.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore has said Holder and Hussle had some type of personal dispute before the shooting, with Holder going to the store, leaving and returning with a gun.
Holder has been described in media reports as an aspiring rapper, who goes by the street name “Sh-tty Cuz.” He is also believed to be a gang member.
A public memorial for Hussle will take place this Thursday at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.