:: Monday, April 29, 2002 ::

Reflecting on the L.A. riots. It's been 10 years since the L.A. riots sparked by the verdict of the Rodney King trial. The Web contains plenty of retrospective reporting about the riots and their aftermath, but I dug through a desk drawer this morning and discovered one of my journals from 1992. Here's what I wrote on April 30 of that year:

There is violence in the streets of our nation tonight. It began yesterday in Los Angeles, after the all-white jury chosen to determine whether four white L.A. police officers were guilty of using excessive force against a black man named Rodney King decided the police hadn't. Despite the evidence of a videotape, shown time and again on American TV network news and the images of it now etched in the mind of every American viewer, a videotape that showed the cops pounding King with nightsticks and kicking his ribs and head, the jury found the police not guilty on all but one count, that count ending up dismissed as a result of a mistrial. And now violence begets violence. The violence sown a year ago by four white police officers is being meted out a hundredfold on the streets of our cities tonight.

Last night, it was only L.A. riots. Looting. White man pulled from car and beaten mercilessly, till blood was drawn and more blood, videocameras capturing it all. As of noon, at least nine were dead, hundreds injured, and the City of Angels was a City of Mayem. Cars and buildings burned as blacks sought vengeance for the injustice done to their race. Today, the violence is in Washington, D.C., Detroit, and probably some other cities by now. Despite please by L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley and President George Bush, the violence rages. And I am reminded of a scripture from the prophet Isaiah: "Judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off."

:: Andrew 13:27 + ::

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