FROM Jerry Yu
What Can the Rest of the Country Learn from the LA Riots? 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 .
Koreatown Koreatown was officially designated an LA neighborhood in 1978. It's five square miles just west of downtown, between Beverly and Olympic on the North and South and, roughly, between Wilton and Crenshaw on the east and west. Among American cities, only Midtown Manhattan and Chicago's North Side are more densely populated. Koreatown has the largest Korean population outside of Korea itself, but the largest resident group is Hispanics. During the riot, Koreatown experienced more property damage than the rest of the city put together.
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