L.A. Riots Revisited

Trust the universe and know that people walk with you for a certain reason, and when their time with you is over, you’ve taken from them what you needed and you take that with you. You realize your purpose and leave a mark for the next generation – Dr. Myiesha Taylor, daughter of Dwight Taylor, one of the riots’ unsolved deaths.

A few years ago, I became completely enamored by the L.A. Riots. There is something about Los Angeles’s optics of the early ‘90s that captivates me and allows my imagination to run wild since I’ve never been to the west coast. I reckon it’s because of Hollywood movies I watched as a pre-teen, films such as Speed, Falling Down, Heat and Collateral. Whatever it may be, the L.A Riots reminds me of a car crash on an interstate during rush hour, causing everyone to grind to halt, waiting to see a lot of blood and gore, only to see people standing around taking each other’s insurance information while a cop takes a personal call in his patrol car. Meanwhile, we are all stuck bumper to bumper, trying to get home to live our lives in peace.

When the Saint Floyd Riots broke out, it was deja vu of April 29th, 1992, where we had witnessed the first “outrage porn” video gone viral worldwide. It even had some of the same actors, social discord rehashes and typical race-baiting hallmarks that the populace has repeatedly been subjugated to the last half-century. How many Americans know that William Barr was the Attorney General in 1992 and was the only 2nd Attorney general to serve twice? Or Maxine Waters was representing a part of L.A at the time? The news reporter who recorded Reginald Denny’s beating was none other than Jewish transvestite Robert Zoey Albert Tur, who is better known for threatening to beat up Ben Shapiro.

A blight on society by the name of Rodney King whose life in some ways was similar to Saint Floyd’s, but lived for another 20 years, coincidentally died from a drug overdose at the bottom of a swimming pool (his father died the same way 28 years to the day). King was caught speeding 110 miles per hour during a high-speed pursuit. He was drunk, high on PCP and was on probation. Frustrated with the pursuit, the police struck him 56 times, all recorded by someone across the street and the rest is history. For what we may say about King, he did his best to defuse the riots, went on to write a book and gained respect talking about his ordeal. He also stated what had happened to him had nothing to do with White people. It’s heartbreaking to say he didn’t want to be remembered as “that guy who got beat up by the cops,” yet when his fiancé, who was on the jury of his trial, called 911 to report his death, and told the 911 operator “It’s Rodney King the guy who got beat up by the cops.” 

Overshadowed by the Rodney King beating was the Latasha Harlins shooting. She was killed by a Korean shop owner named Soon Ja Du just 13 days after the Rodney King beatings. Harlines allegedly stole a carton of orange juice and got into a confrontation with Du, which escalated to her murder. Du testified on her own behalf, claiming that the shooting was in self-defense. Du’s testimony was full of contradictions, according to the two witnesses’ statements present during the shooting. The store’s security camera video showed Du shooting Harlins in the back of the head as she turned to leave the store. The jury found that Du’s decision to fire the gun was in her control and fired the gun voluntarily. The jury found Du guilty of voluntary manslaughter, which carried a maximum prison sentence of 16 years. The jury insisted on the maximum sentence for Du. However, the trial judge, Joyce Karlin (A Jewish magistrate whose father was a wealthy movie studio executive and president of Warner Bros), did not accept the jury’s sentencing recommendation and instead sentenced Du to five years of probation, 400 hours of community service, and a $500 fine. This incident just further flamed tensions, most notably against the Korean community. 

An overzealous black mayor named Tom Bradley embraced the riots since it could deflect attention off of him. He faced various corruption charges of insider trading, bribes from real estate developers and receiving some 220k in questionable funds from the Far East National Bank. The public saw this as the law encroaching on an elected official who was black, which naturally exonerates him for any wrongdoing. Naturally, Bradley was wary of law enforcement. He was at constant odds with the police commissioner, who, unlike in other major U.S cities where the mayor appoints the commissioner but is appointed by a committee. 

The struggling protagonist throughout the whole ordeal was Daryl Gates, police commissioner of the LAPD. Gates, who held his position longer than any other commissioner, had spent most of his career as a bureaucrat, and was in the twilight of his career when the riots broke out. He was dealing with an undersized police force (7,500 officers versus 30,000 in N.Y.C). High-ranking deputies jockeying for his position were trying to sabotage him. The LAPD was walking on eggshells as the Christopher commission probed into police brutality and racial biases within the department. Gates had made various insouciant remarks throughout his career and openly joked about the Rodney King beating. He stated at one point, people who smoke weed should be killed and Blacks placed in chokeholds die easily (you can’t make this stuff up). Factor in him being the forerunner to establishing SWAT and a white male, the verdict was in. Hey, hey! Ho, ho! Daryl Gates has got to go! It should be told at the peak of the riot Gate’s son overdosed on heroin and was dealing with a pair of broken ribs, which may have played a part in his mental wellbeing.

The ‘90s for America started off with racial tension both on the east and west coast and coupled with the decline of mafia and gang powers, creating a power vacuum. Joey Fama stabbed Al Sharpton, the murder of Yusef Hawkins and the ongoing battles between Crips and Bloods spilled over into other ethnic neighborhoods. In L.A., African Americans were being pushed out by newly minted immigrants buying up property and setting up businesses usually at the expense of Blacks. Most of the Black’s power base was around organized crime and not minority-owned businesses and with the LAPD expanding their presence, Blacks began to lose their clout financially.

Violent crime in L.A. grew at more than twice the national average. In 1986, Los Angeles had the highest number of reported violent crimes per 100,000 residents and the highest number of property crimes.

The riots were a cry for help and not knowing the proper channels to vent their anger and frustrations. Fragmentation of the Black community had been ongoing throughout the 80s with the introduction of the welfare state and fatherless crime-ridden households. The riots were the last, though futile, gasp for African Americans to get some power back politically.

It’s no secret that the media determines what’s important and what is not and de-emphasizes some events and highlights others. People don’t have the freedom to know what’s going on around the world as normiecons are coming to understand presently. We only have the freedom to know what the media wants us to know. In determining what that is, in deciding how people will hear about it, the media can give a false impression that will never be erased (that’s Mr. SAINT Floyd to you). The build-up to the trial was a media stress test on seeing how far they can go giving false perceptions of what people had a scene in an 81-second video clip without giving details or showing the longer video or King’s crime record. The media published some 500 stories on police brutality over 125 days. The media pulled on heartstrings by using the word beating profusely, being as graphic as possible, and emphasizing race, especially when it came to relocating the trial to Simi Valley, a population roughly 90% White at that time.

In a 14-month trial, the charges were assault and excessive force. The cops were White, with the one who did the actual beating being Hispanic. All officers were acquitted of assault and three of the four of using excessive force. The riot’s paroxysm was shortly after the verdict, with Mayor Bradley’s speech being the catalyst stating at a news conference: 

“Today, the jury told the world that what we all saw with our own eyes was not a crime. My friends, I am here to tell the jury … what we saw was a crime. No, we will not tolerate the savage beating of our citizens by a few renegade cops. … We must not endanger the reforms we have achieved by resorting to mindless acts. We must not push back progress by striking back blindly.”

Logic, civility, and above all else, decorum is thrown out the window when it comes to a Black male being killed by cops not of his own race. The rioters felt emboldened by Bradley’s words, said to be the dog whistle to go out and destroy the city, while Black business owners felt that the beatings were an excuse just to go wild. It was often referred to as Marti Gras by veterans of the riots.

The battleground was south-central LA. Ground zero was the intersection of Florence and Normandy. The war zone stretched 30 square miles, 8 counties had curfews, flights were rerouted, delayed, or canceled as smoke from 1,000 fires grew so dense that air-traffic controllers could keep open only one runway at LAX.

Within three hours, chaos ruled as lawlessness took hold in south-central Los Angeles, where police had already been ordered to retreat out of fear for their own safety. Now, at Normandy and Florence, there was no tactical alert and top brass pulled the cops back. Still, they were never redeployed and were regrouping some 2 miles away. 45 minutes had passed since the first calls of lawlessness. As time passed, the commanding officers decided to redeploy but had squad’s answering 911 calls some 3 hours old before the riots broke out. This situation was not corrected some 2 hours later. You had cops sitting while people were getting slaughtered. The great question is, why? 

Given the amount of time, energy and effort put into researching the topic. I’ve come to the conclusion that the police had an actual “Blue Flu“. The LAPD and city council knew the outcome long before the 29th. The LAPD claim there was a miscommunication with those near the epicenter and they didn’t realize how serious this initial event was (Gates was at a fundraiser). Given the media rhetoric which coincided with the Christopher commission invasiveness of going through 6 million radio transmissions and coming up short, a stand-down was in order and it was easy to blame ambiguities like “the fog of war.” Through the eyes of a social justice warrior, it’s to police the police, not police crime or how to help reduce the crime rate. So everything the police do, as far as policy goes or cop culture, is looked through the lenses of suspicion. No matter what police officers do, it turns into a controversy with the ACLU and media fanning the flames as much as the LAPD tries to put the flames out. 

When the police decided to retreat, we witness the paradox of diversity and a foreshadowing of a multi-ethnic empire. Blacks attacked anyone that was not black and businesses not owned by one of their own (not in every case). Various ethnic groups spray-painted on commercial property, marking what belonged to whom. These patterns of tribalization are usually a sign of a future civil war. 

In hindsight, we can all understand how important it was to protect police officers but unlike the Watts Riots in 1965, where Blacks actually directed their rage at police officers, the L.A Riots were civilian vs. civilian or, more specifically, Black on Black. A police officer’s job is not to safeguard his own life but to protect citizens under duress. It’s important to remember that in undemocratic societies, the police freely combine the role of police and judge and punish those who dare defy them. The National Guard and Marines were called in the latter half of the riots but with an unclear role. In one incident, a police officer requested the Marines to “cover him,” which was interpreted as laying down suppressive fire. We also witness armored personnel carriers’ use to flush out organized snipers in the predominately black Jordan Downs housing project. Were we being habituated to seeing the use of active military personal and APCs in American streets?

Then there is, of course, what had happened to Reginald Denny, a blue-collar White truck driver who was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. Does anybody know what happens to those oppressed minorities that attacked him? Their names were Damian Williams, Henry Watson, Antoine Miller and Gary Williams. One was a crack head, another was shot and killed in a strip club years later and the two others are in prison, with one of them serving life in prison for murder.

The riots burned out (no pun intended) by May 1st, not for the fact the George H.W Bush exercised the Insurrection Act, Executive Order 12804, or Operation Garden Plot. Nor was it the logistical aspects of coordination and communications between the National Guard and local law enforcement that failed miserably. It was the simple fact that the Blacks had run out of food and things readily available to steal or burn (The KFC and Louis Vuitton supply lines failed) and by the 5th, they tired themselves out.

When it came to Saint Floyd Riots, they all took place in commercial districts of cities. Blacks looted most of Madison Avenue and other major city cores that were already pressing the margins financially. Perhaps the Saint Floyd Riots were a monster insurance job? Weren’t the pallet of bricks provided by a company owned by Berkshire Hathaway? A lowgrade shock doctrine has given way for the smart city rebirth. 

Gates said in his autobiography when ruminating on the L.A Riots:

I have always been skeptical of “experts” who arrived to analyze a riot after the fact. I always believed the burning was intended to cover up the looting. Now no one would ever know how much was stolen and how much was destroyed by fire. Many markets were not individually owned businesses but chains. Owned and run by people from a distance. Some stores had credit accounts. So I had a feeling also the burning was designed to wipe out debts.

We all wax poetic about “based rooftop Koreans,” and rightfully so, since 37 Korean shop owners were killed in the past 3 years leading up to the riots. But they had a stake in the riots defending their property. In today’s America, the ideal shop owner has been bought out or sold out, so you never saw much defending what we call a community since it is non-existent.  

Some 2,383 people had been injured; more than 12,000 had been arrested, a little over 3,000 buildings raised, some 7,500 fires and an estimate of property damage over $2 billion. It took over 13,000 people in uniform to squash the riots. Some 70+ people lost their lives amid the looting and fires that ravaged the city over five days.

By year’s end, Los Angeles had 1,096 homicides, a record that remains as L.A.’s deadliest year. The exact number of dead is unknown, and the LAPD never officially published a death report, leading me to believe there were more than what we are told and to downplay it’s severity. The riots were a great excuse to go out and settle some scores hence why many deaths were not included in the body count.

The riots were a way for new people to grab power; various activists and aspiring politicians were all able to get some notoriety. Both Bradley and Gates were part of an old guard and this was a great set up by the media to change L.A politics forever and to usher in the techno-oligarchs of Silicon Valley. 

When it was all said and done on the most destructive days in American history, it turned out to be nothing more than star-crossed individuals, false media narratives, a series of unfavorable events and a terrible foreshadowing for a country.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Mr Obvious says:

    Never
    Relax

    Like

  2. NC says:

    Coming to Lake/Chicago, Lake/Hennipen, 7th/Hennipen, University/Snelling near you soon.
    Funny how one of the BLM founders can post a tictok video “just saying” if Chauvin gets off = fires will ensue.

    Liked by 1 person

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