*California Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson) released the following statement regarding the convictions in the murder of Tavin Price:
“Kanasho Johns, 29, and Kevin Deon Johnson, 26, were convicted today in the killing of 19 year old disabled Tavin Price at a car wash in South Los Angeles earlier this year. A third man, Kevin Smith, 31, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter. Sentencing will begin on Nov. 30 and could bring them up to 50 years each in state prison.
The idea that one person could lose their life over the color of their shoes is hard to process. What does it say about a (gang) culture who believes that a color is more important than a human life?
Now, at the end of the day, a total of four lives are lost to gang violence. A victory in court is justice, but there are no wins here.”
Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson represents the cities and communities of Carson, Compton, Gardena, Harbor Gateway, Lynwood, North Long Beach, Rancho Dominguez, South Los Angeles, Torrance, Watts/Willowbrook and Wilmington.
Price was gunned down on May 29 after he and his mother stopped at a car wash near Florence Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard in South Los Angeles.
When Price went into a nearby store to buy a cigarette, police say, he was confronted by a man who told him to take off his red shoes. The color red is associated with a specific street gang.
The suspect followed Price back to the car wash and shot him four times in the back and chest. Price was rushed to a hospital, but died while he was in surgery.
“I can’t even sleep at night since my son died. I cannot sleep. I can’t do nothing,” his mother Jennifer Rivers said, adding that she wishes the gunman would have shot her instead.