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Jenee Darden, the daughter of high-profile attorney Chris Darden, has responded to the “vile comments and messages” she’s received since it was revealed her father would be representing the alleged killer of Nipsey Hussle. The 33-year-old musician and activist was shot and killed last week in his South Los Angeles community.
“Like many of you, I found out about my father’s involvement in the case while scrolling through social media,” Darden, an Oakland-based writer and public speaker, wrote in an Instagram post on Tuesday.
“I was not prepared for this backlash that has triggered bad memories from the O.J. Simpson Trial,” she said.
Chris Darden, a 62-year-old Richmond native, prosecuted the former NFL star in the racially charged murder trial, a role that led to some public outrage.
The attorney has signed on to represent 29-year-old Eric Holder, who was charged with Hussle’s murder.
A social media fury was triggered by news of Darden’s defense of Holder — outrage which spilled onto his daughter’s social media pages.
Jenee Darden asked her followers to “channel [their] energy toward continuing Nipsey’s legacy in strengthening our communities and lifting up each other,” rather than “attacking” her and “others who have nothing to do with this case.”
“I understand why it hurts deeply when we lose young, talented Black men,” she added, citing her upbringing in a “community similar to Nipsey’s.”
Darden has previously written about how the Simpson trial affected her. In a 2016 Los Angeles Times essay, spurred by the FX show “The People vs. O.J. Simpson,” she said classmates at her East Oakland high school harassed her.
“As the racial tensions surrounding the case grew, so did my anxiety,” she wrote. “I worried the students at my predominantly black high school would harass me when they found out about my father. Many black people sided with Simpson and thought my father was a traitor.”
“While walking down the stairs after class one day, a black kid stopped me on the steps when other students were around,” she continued. “He said to my face, ‘Dude, I’m sorry, but your father is a Tom. A straight up sellout.'”
Darden works as a journalist covering race, women and the Simpson case, which she writes about on her blog Cocoa Fly. In September, she published a collection of poetry and essays called “When a Purple Rose Blooms” (Nomadic Press).
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This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Chris-Darden-jenee-nipsey-hussle-defense-attorney-13751613.php.