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FROM THIS EPISODE

It's been 20 years since the Rodney King riots ripped apart America's second largest city.  What's happened since?  What are the lessons for the rest of America? Also, a drone strike in Pakistan may upend delicate diplomatic negotiations, and with Hillary Clinton scheduled to visit Beijing, the Obama Administration has rushed to contain a diplomatic crisis over the escaped dissident who's said to be in US hands.

Banner image: James Oh (R) , owner of Tom Liquor store at the intersection of Florence and Normandy Avenues in South Los Angeles, speaks with a customer on April 27, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Producers:
Sonya Geis
Christian Bordal
Katie Cooper

Reporter's Notebook Dissident's Protest Inspires Ordinary Chinese 7 MIN, 31 SEC

The US Secretaries of State and Treasury are scheduled to leave Washington for Beijing, and Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell is already there, as the Obama Administration rushes to contain a diplomatic crisis over escaped blind dissident who's escaped from house arrest in China. So far there is no public confirmation that Chen Guangcheng has taken refuge in the US Embassy in Beijing. Jeff Wasserstrom is Professor of History at University of California at Irvine and the author of China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know.

Guests:
Jeffrey Wasserstrom, University of California, Irvine (@jwassers)

China in the 21st Century

Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom

Making News Drone Strike in Pakistan May Upend Delicate Negotiations 8 MIN, 5 SEC

For the first time in a month, drones operated by the CIA conducted a missile strike yesterday in Pakistan, despite that country's demand that such attacks come to an end. Declan Walsh is Pakistan correspondent for the New York Times.

Guests:
Declan Walsh, New York Times (@declanwalsh )

Main Topic What Can the Rest of the Country Learn from the LA Riots? 38 MIN, 23 SEC

In 1991, Rodney King, an African American, was chased down for drunk driving by officers of the Los Angeles Police Department. King was beaten by the LAPD, struck more than 56 times and tasered more than once. The incident was videotaped by a bystander and broadcast repeatedly, locally and worldwide. Four of the officers were charged with excessive force and tried a year later in the white, conservative suburb of Simi Valley. When all were acquitted of all charges, the city exploded, but the LAPD was completely unprepared.

Exactly 20 years ago today, Los Angeles was in the second day of a riot that killed 53 people, wounded thousands and cost more than a billion dollars. It was a perfect storm of police abuse, racial hostility, economic decline and crime, including deadly traffic in crack cocaine. Today, crime's declined, people feel safer and race relations are much improved, but LA's troubles aren't over yet. What can the rest of the country learn from a city that's often called a preview of America's future?

For complete KCRW coverage of the 1992 riots, go to http://KCRW.com/LARiots.

Guests:
Charlie Beck, Los Angeles Police Department (@LAPDChiefBeck)
Joe Domanick, investigative journalist and author
Kerman Maddox, First AME Church
Jerry Yu, Cal State Fullerton
Alex Ko, filmmaker
Cecil 'Chip' Murray, University of Southern California
Anna Deavere Smith, actress and playwright (@AnnaDeavereS)
Fernando Guerra, Loyola Marymount University (@LMU_CSLA)
Manuel Pastor, University of Southern California (@Prof_MPastor)
Angela Glover Blackwell, PolicyLink (@policylink)

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