In the discussion thread: Is the Rodney King CNN Program on in your area yet [View all]
Response to goclark (Original post)
Wed May 2, 2012, 10:28 PM
kwassa (19,733 posts)
12. I was in Los Angeles during the riots.
and I saw some of it happen all around me.
The important point is that the cops disappeared. They just left the entire city after the initial confrontation at Florence and Normandie because Darryl Gates was a racist coward that ran the LAPD, and yanked his people at the first sign of a problem.
They were gone for several days.
The first day Wednesday was my ex-girlfriends birthday, I took her out to dinner down in Redondo because we were still friends, and fortunately decided to take the freeway home instead of heading directly up Crenshaw, a shorter route. I saw the smoke and was wondering what was happening. She frantically called me after I got home wondering if I had made it home alright.
In Los Angeles, a city of helicopters, everything is covered live as it happens from above, from Reginald Denny getting beaten to OJ making a low speed chase. All of the riot was shown live on TV as it happened.
I went to work the next day in Culver City. We were released early as things got worse. I drove my usual route around a shopping center that was getting looted on the front side, though I drove by the back and never saw it. The curfew happened then, and I was transfixed in front of my TV in my apartment.
The riot went from people exploiting easy opportunities to gangs deliberately robbing stores. It spread throughout central LA. Along Pico Boulevard, a few blocks south of me, three grocery stores had been set on fire. Along LaBrea, the main north-south route that went up into Hollywood, every single gas station was set on fire.
I went out on Friday with a neighbor, after a serious spell of cabin fever. The weather was beautiful, the city was strangely quiet because there were no cars on the streets, the only sound was the many helicopters floating in the sky, and pillars of black smoke from many buildings set on fire were going up in a full 360 degrees of visibility. We wandered over to Adrays, the local version of Best Buy, where we and hundreds of local residents witnessed a gang trying to break into the shuttered store. The locals were taking pictures. It went on for a long time, we left, later we heard that security guards showed up, fired shots, scared them off.
the bottom line is that the police abdicated their responsibility to "protect and serve" They did neither. Most of the crime was opportunistic, some was targeted against electronics and camera stores.
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I was in Los Angeles during the riots.
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