The late Nipsey Hussle was targeted as part of a Los Angeles Police Department program known as Operation LASER, per a new report.
After Nipsey Hussle‘s death in 2019, the Los Angeles Police Department denied that he was the target of an investigation into the neighborhood of his Marathon Clothing store. The investigation was aimed at trying to curb gang violence in the Central LA area around the store, but representatives for the LAPD said that Nipsey wasn’t being investigated.
However, in a new episode of Guardian‘s Today In Focus podcast, the initiative, called the LASER (Los Angeles Strategic Extraction and Restoration) program, Nipsey’s brother, Samiel Asghedom (aka Blacc Sam) revealed that many of those anti-gang efforts centered on the Marathon store, despite the positive work the rapper had committed to. “The agenda was, ‘Whatever they’re doing over there, crush it,” he said.
Meanwhile, law professor Andrew Ferguson described the program, explaining its title as a “metaphor that they were going to, like laser surgery, remove the tumors, the bad actors from the community” via “predictive policing technology.” According to Los Angeles Times, the program used data to identify “anchor points” were more officers could be concentrated. In 2019, the program was ended by the LAPD after community criticism, with a spokesperson saying, “We discontinued LASER because we want to reassess the data. It was inconsistent. We’re pulling back.”
Listen to the full episode here.