Rodney King was an incidental figure. some loser on drugs driving too fast. He should have been ticketed and perhaps arrested. Instead, cops viciously beat him, and what many don't realize, what the tape didn't show is that there were 17 cops present, from the Transit Police, CalState Police, Sheriff and CA State Police watching the 4 LAPD misfits hammer King. Their excuse was "he was on PCP, we couldn't control him." 17 cops couldn't have controlled him? No, apparently it was more fun this way...
Naturally we have to worry about law enforcement in the USA behaving like Nazis. Not cool.
I am sometimes bothered to see that the outrage over Reginald Denny is any less. He was dragged from his truck, which he'd stopped to avoid hitting the people gathering in the street at Florence and Normandie, and was beaten by a gang, hit in the head with bricks, a radio, kicked in the head, etc. His crime was that he was white.
I'm glad to say I was there at Parker Center for the political demonstration against police brutality which formed quickly as the riot began. We were initially a crowd composed of blacks, whites, chicanos and Asians. We trashed downtown L.A. Cars were overturned and burned, buildings pelted with rocks. As the hours wore on, this demonstration turned also into a race riot, and it became progressively unsafe to be in the street if you were not black.
Since I'm not black, at that point I went home.
For the next 2 days I would ride my motorcycle around Hollywood, the streets empty as if a nuclear war had occurred. I would drive down Vermont on the wrong side, going 70. Nobody was around. On the 2nd day, as I am a distance runner, I ran up to the ridge from where you could see L.A. basin and the S.F. Valley at the same time. Plumes of smoke were rising everywhere. There was no traffic except for fire engines. I could hear the sirens from far away, from both sides.
At that point I said to myself, this is insane. This city is doomed. I can't live like this, and went home and talked my wife into moving to the Central Coast.
L.A. smells bad anyway.