– By Sylvester Monroe
The 1992 Los Angeles riots were one of the biggest stories of my career and among the most personal. I wasn’t just a reporter covering the worst civil unrest in modern U.S. history. I was also an African-American man and father of an adolescent son ever mindful of close encounters of the worst kind with the police.
Reporting on the six days of deadly violence and vandalism following the acquittals of four white L.A. police officers tried for the brutal, videotaped beating of black motorist Rodney King resonated with me even more than the trial itself. In nearly 10 years as a Los Angeles correspondent for Time magazine, I was never stopped by the LAPD. As a young teenager, my son, Jason, was ticketed once for jaywalking. We paid a $50 fine and that was the end of it. But we both were always wary.
Twenty years later, relations between the Los Angeles police and the city’s black citizens are light-years beyond the tinderbox atmosphere that once prevailed, thanks to extensive police reforms, including a much-touted commitment to community policing, increased external oversight and more enlightened department leadership. Many black Angelenos now believe there has been so much progress that what happened in 1992 could not happen again. At least not in the same way.
One reason is that despite some ongoing racial tension, the people of Los Angeles generally get along much better than they did at the time of King’s famously plaintive plea: “Can we all just get along?”
“We get along better now,” says 46-year-old Chris Chambers, a black South L.A. native who remembers the bad blood between blacks and Korean business owners who were prime targets of black anger and violence during the riots. “[Korean business owners] respect your presence more. They don’t pull out a gun when you walk into a store anymore. They realize that all blacks are not shoplifters, and they will actually have a conversation with you now.”
Read more at theroot.com
More Mason High School Teachers Resign Over Sex Acts
Baby Dies After Mom Holds Him Under Hot Water For Crying Too Much
Ice Cube Reflects On Hip Hop’s Influence On The L.A. Riots
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER – @1230AMWDBZ
JOIN THE OFFICIAL BUZZ FACEBOOK FAN PAGE
DOWNLOAD THE FREE BUZZ MOBILE APP
Blac Chyna Spotted Out After Dissolving Facial Fillers
Ed Sheeran did not copy Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On”, jury rules
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony to be Honored at Ohio Black Expo
He’s Back! Jamie Foxx Announces Return To TV With New Show
The ‘King Of Calypso’: A Tribute To Harry Belafonte
Where’s Don Juan Fasho Friday’s [VIDEO]
Help a Child in Need at St. Jude DONATE NOW
‘The Other H-U’: Kamala Harris Addresses HBCU Rivalry Between Howard And Hampton Universities