Gang members have claimed murdered rapper Nipsey Hussle was ‘stupid’ for thinking he was ‘untouchable’ and not having a personal protection team.
The Grammy nominee and father-of-two, 33, real name Ermias Asghedom, was shot multiple times on March 31 last year outside his clothing store in Los Angeles, moments after posing for pictures with fans and tweeting ‘having strong enemies is a blessing’.
He had ties to the Rollin 60s Neighborhood Crips gang, but was using his wealth to give back to his community and was an icon for empowerment around the world.
Fellow gang member Eric Holder, 30, is currently awaiting trial for murder and has issued a not guilty plea.
Gang members have claimed murdered rapper Nipsey Hussle (pictured) was ‘stupid’ for thinking he was ‘untouchable’ and not having a personal protection team
Eight-Tray gang member Sedrick, who runs a book and herbs shop, said Nipsey should have never been outside his store that day without security
In a new BBC Three documentary, The Mysterious Murder Of Nipsey Hussle, filmmaker Ben Zand interviews several prominent figures in the rapper’s community, from LAPD officers to former gang members, in an attempt to uncover the truth about his murder.
Ben speaks to gangsters from local gang Eight-Tray. Sedrick, who runs a book and herbs shop, said Nipsey should have never been outside his store that day without security.
He added that Nipsey’s wealth made him a target and accused him of ‘forgetting the rules’ of gang culture.
‘Nipsey was stupid, he was stupid. He didn’t have, his gang didn’t protect him and they wasn’t going to protect him when he got that money,’ Sedrick said.
‘It’s too risky, there’s too many dudes that aren’t gonna like you… Nipsey for one, he should have never been at that store without security. He thought he was untouchable.’
The transcripts of the pre-trial hearing allege that a conversation took place between Nipsey and his suspected killer Holder moments before he was shot, during which the rapper apparently accused him of snitching and working with the police. The word ‘snitch’ is mentioned 24 times.
Asked by Ben whether calling someone a snitch warranted being killed, Sedrick replied: ‘That’s the worst thing you can say.
Lauren London, Diddy and Nipsey Hussle attend 2019 Roc Nation THE BRUNCH on February 9, 2019 in LA
‘You gotta go kill that n***** man, I’ll call you if you call me a snitch and I ain’t a snitch.’
His fellow gang member added: ‘It’s the equivalent of being called a child molester, that’s the level that’s on.’
Brian Bentley, who spent career his with LAPD working in Nipsey’s neighbourhood, also believes his death was down to him ‘disrespecting’ his killer.
‘You don’t disrespect somebody, he talked down to him, he was making accusations about him,’ he said.
‘The guy was upset and he came back and he shot him, which was not uncommon, you don’t disrespect people… that’s the law of how gang members work.’
The Grammy nominee and father-of-two, 33, real name Ermias Asghedom, was shot multiple times on March 31 last year outside his clothing store in Los Angeles
Not long before he was shot, Nipsey sent a tweet stating: ‘Having strong enemies is a blessing’
Attempting to learn more about why a low level gang member like Holder would kill such a profile figure like Nipsey, Ben speaks to one of the accused’s neighbours, who remains anonymous.
He claims Holder ‘had an agenda’ and accused him of drugging him before assaulting him with a gun he believes he later used to kill the rapper.
The neighbour told how Holder seemed like a ‘normal person’ who was also into rap music, but the day of the murder he saw a different side to him.
He recalled: ‘I was on the phone and Eric came by and knocked on my door. I said, “Hey what’s up?” and he said, “Can I talk to you for a minute?” and as I’m walking to him I can see he’s getting himself psyched.
‘He falsely accused me, he said that I put drugs in marijuana I sold to him, and he said it loud, like unusually loud, and I said, “What are you talking about, I would never do something like that,” I was like, why is he doing this, is he trying to set me up?
Moments before he was shot, Nipsey posed for photographs with fans in his neighbourhood
‘Who knows if he had Nipsey pre-meditated… That’s when he came up behind me and he hit me on the head with, what I believe, his gun. And he hit me hard, I mean, he was coming for the kill, and I was petrified.
‘When I heard what he did to Nipsey, I realised it was the gun he used to hit me in the head for sure.’
The Black Riders Liberation Party, self-described as the Black Panthers, believe Nipsey was killed by the government for encouraging the community to fight oppression around them.
They claim Eric Holder was acting on police orders when he allegedly shot the rapper.
Attempting to learn more about why a low level gang member like Holder would kill such a profile figure like Nipsey, Ben (pictured) speaks to one of the accused’s neighbours, who remains anonymous
The leader told Ben: ‘It’s like Malcolm X said, they’ll hire one of us to kill one of us, just to say it’s one of us.’
The Black Riders assert that Nipsey’s death was part of a long line of politically motivated killings of black men going against the status quo – Malcolm X (assassinated in 1965) Martin Luther King (1968) and Fred Hampton (1969).
Community activist Brandon Sankara said: ‘There’s definitely historical precedent of police and government agencies orchestrating the murders of countless figures throughout black history, whether you’re talking about Fred Hampton and the organisation of the Chicago police department in Illinois to murder him.’
Jamon Hicks, a civil rights attorney, added: ‘There will be a lot of people that did not want to see him survive, they did not want to see him continue on the trajectory he was on because it was one of power, it was one of strength and it was one of uniting a community.’
Eric Holder, the suspect in the killing of rapper Nipsey Hussle is seen in Los Angeles County Superior Court on April 4, 2019. Holder is charged with murder and two counts of attempted murder in connection with the attack outside Hussle’s The Marathon clothing store
In July last year Los Angeles police opened a probe into why the woman who drove the getaway car in the aftermath of rapper Nipsey Hussle’s killing was sent home when she tried to turn herself in during the manhunt for the shooter.
The LAPD told the Associated Press that the Internal Affairs Group was investigating a desk officer’s response at the 77th Street station, which was to tell the woman not to worry.
It later emerged Nipsey was being investigated by police at the time of his death. LAPD was looking into possible gang activity at his strip mall in a joint probe with the city attorney’s office.
Police department officials had an open investigation into Nipsey, his property and his business associates, to find out whether his clothing empire was embroiled in gang activity, the New York Times reported.
LAPD refused to comment on any of the claims made in the documentary.
The Mysterious Murder Of Nipsey Hussle is available to watch now on the BBC iPlayer.