Dressed in T-shirt that says 'Life is slum' and frayed jeans.
Oh yes! His beating was intentional. The way they kicked and stomped him -- over and over again. Though beats me why 20% didn't think so. Bigoted idiots.
Three LA Police officers stomped, kicked and beat King with metal batons. The scene was video taped by George Halliday, manager of a plumbing company, from ninety-feet away.
Q. What were your reactions?
Scandalized. I remember thinking it impossible that such acts of police brutality -- Police of all things! You would think they would be above that -- were happening today. In America. In Los Angeles.
California is oen of the most civilized states. This isn't the South after all. Here's where we're supposed to, like, love everyone else and against prejudice. Especially the police. Couldn't get to grips with this at the time. Scary.
That riots started a few days later did not surprise her.
Some White people that I know came out real mean and their prejudice showed. These were friends I'd known all my life. My sympathies were utterly and entirely and solely and exclusively with the Black fold. I could understand them.
Q "Can such a thing happen today? Or some time in the future?"
No, I don't think so. Even thoguh Black-White differences are as huge as ever, police officers are aware that they can videotaped by any passing cell phone any time. this alone will keep them in check.
The LA Police Department has said that it has made changes.
My friend was not too sure; she did however believe that technology had become so much more advanced since 1992 that police would be too afraid to perpetrate a repeat.
Our police department still has issues -- most certainly. There was the rally in MacArthur Park a few years ago where police smashed demonstrators and injured loads of people and there's still some real issues of trust in certain sectors of the community
There's still work to be done
Interview 5: Rodney King
Jack, an engineer, a Black man in his 70s who lives alone in Hollywood. Dressed in suit and smoking on his pipe, Jack smells of cologne and looks me direct and searching in the eye whilst speaking.
Yes. I clearly remember how many of the kids started riots and harmed a lot of people.
Some of the children of my friends were involved, although many of my other friends forbade their children from joining. They were mainly jealous "very jealous" and wanted to hit out at their bad fortune.
The way Stephen described it, the riots were mostly conducted by youngsters and children of immigrants who were fed up with their measly fate and felt as thoguh they had been pushed against the wall long and hard enough and had enough.
They weren't protesting against prejudice per se, or for King per se but rather as protest and yell against their circumstances. Living side by side with untouchable riches made these youngsters even more furious. Look, you come from a university. They didn't. You have parents. Many of them don't. Or they have parents who beat them, or use their money for drugs or drinks. What kind of life is that!
It is no wonder that Rodney King was the final straw to the cinderblock. The atmosphere in LA was vulnerable and ready for the outburst. Frankly, I am nto surprised. I don't even know whether I was at the time. I suppose I was expecting it.
My sister didn't react like most people reacted, rioting and things. She was upset and got over it.
Stephen himself disapproved. About 54 people had died -- he remembered because he showed me the clippings that he kept. He was against the rioting; but he understood the context.
Q. About the future: do you think such a thing can happen again?
Oh yes! He was sure it could. Envy, frustration and rage have build up to a maximum. All it needs is another small, even a very small incident to set it off.
The riots could be even worse than those that happened in 1962.
I got the feeling that he was looking forward to the event.
My initial impressions of LA were refracted in different ways by the five interviews. At one time, a long time ago, according to Sandra, the teen counselor, Los Angeles was a different place where over the fence chatting was a norm and people congregated to share news and a hug. Today, teenagers and the younger generation as well as professionals and almost all citizens have become immured in a technological world that detaches them from the necessary support, hence, according to Sandra, teen counselor, depression has become more rampant. She sees drugs as a growing problem that will continue as long as technology and materialism rises as well as the gap between rich and poor.
The gap between rich and poor was an ongoing problem. Also a counselor, but working in a very different part of the field and with a very different population, Malpede attempted to have the homeless recreate their unenviable situation through drama thus seeking relief and solution.
Gaps in LA are common, not only between rich and poor but also between White and Black as told me by the two interviewees of the King saga. Both came from different spheres of life, were of different ages and of different races, yet both claimed to understand the context of the riots and to appreciate, though not condone, their instigation.
Police brutality seems to be an ongoing factor according to the LA Sheriff, but he is working on it.
Five different perspectives from five different walks of life, with only two professions being the same. All concluded that gaps existed between race and socio-economic background and all (with the exception of the Sheriff) held little hope for the future. LA, dazzling city thoguh it is has huge rifts that it…