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The actress said she was first impacted by gun violence at a young age growing up in Los Angeles, calling it "traumatizing"

By Georgia Slater
Updated June 04, 2020 10:25 AM
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Lauren London is opening up about her first experiences with gun violence and how the prevalent issue that killed her boyfriend Nipsey Hussle still impacts her today.

The actress joined Jada Pinkett Smith for Wednesday's Facebook Watch episode of Red Table Talkwhere the two discussed the traumas of gun violence and coping with grief and loss.

In the video, Smith first asked London if she could pinpoint her first memory of gun violence, and when it started to become prominent in her life.

"Just growing up in L.A., in the area that I was around. In high school, a lot of the boys were in gangs, and I remember that a lot of our friends, by summertime they were gone," she explained. "They had transitioned from gun violence."

The actress said that gun violence had become so routine, that she got "used to hearing it."

"It just became unfortunately like the norm," Smith said in agreement, sharing that she was first impacted by gun violence as a teenager in middle and high school.

Lauren London
Credit: Red Table Talk Facebook

London also recalled going to parties in high school and immediately scouting out the exit in case anything were to happen.

"That's traumatizing," she admitted. "To be 16 years old and having to be on guard when you go into a party."

The actress also discussed how she tackles the idea of gun violence and police brutality when talking to her sons, 10-year-old Kameron Samuel Ari, who she shares with ex-fiancé Lil Wayne and 3½-year-old Kross Ermias, who she had with Hussle.

The late rapper, born Ermias Asghedom, was killed on March 31, 2019, after he was shot near his clothing store (the Marathon Clothing Company) in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. He was 33 at the time of his murder.

61st Annual GRAMMY Awards - Arrivals
Lauren London (L) and Nipsey Hussle
| Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage

"What I instill in them is more about the police," London said of teaching her sons about violence.

"How to handle yourself when you get pulled over. That’s more of my education, protecting them being black men in America," she explained.

The Red Table Talk episode comes at a very pertinent time as a little over a week ago, George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died after he was pinned to the ground as white police officer Derek Chauvin placed a knee on Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes during the arrest. Chauvin has since been charged with second-degree murder. 

The Facebook Watch episode first opened with the discussion of police brutality, mentioning Breonna Taylor, an African American aspiring nurse working as an EMT who was "shot eight times" in March by police officers while in her own home in Louisville, Kentucky.

Taylor, 26, was shot on March 13 by Louisville Metro Police Department officers executing a drug warrant, according to The Louisville Courier Journal.

In April, her family filed a lawsuit against the city's police department, alleging police were actually looking for a man who lived in Taylor's building but not her apartment. The suspect had been apprehended before officers allegedly entered Taylor's apartment unannounced.

Red Table Talk airs Wednesdays on Facebook Watch at 9 a.m. PT / 12 p.m. ET.

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

• Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.

• ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.

• National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.