Demonstrators show unity at Florence and Normandie after Chauvin guilty verdict
LOS ANGELES - Instead of possible unrest like law enforcement had initially feared, Florence and Normandie, once the hub of the Los Angeles riots, broke out in chants from demonstrators and cheerful honking from drivers in South Los Angeles following the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial.
Chauvin was found guilty on all three counts, including second-degree murder, and after the verdict was announced. People gathered at the intersection, which was the epicenter of unrest during the LA riots of 1992.
Raymond Ross, a South Los Angeles resident, talked about the LA Riots compared to the verdict Tuesday.
"The last time that we were out here during the Rodney King riots out here, we didn't get justice so right now we're having peace and justice. For me, today means justice. Justice for my Black people, and justice for George Floyd's family. Twenty years ago [during the LA Riots], it was a different look out here. Twenty years ago, you didn't see this many different races out here coming together. Last time, it was chaos and brutality of innocent people, today is more like togetherness, people coming together," said Ross.
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Adrian Toledo, one of the community members at the celebration, spoke about why he believes it's important for all races to stand together in this moment.
"It's not only a Black people issue. This is a matter that affects all of us. Policing is an unjust system set on white supremacy and is not conducive to community wellbeing, not conducive to mental health, not conducive to anything that we aspire our communities to be. Injustice somewhere is injustice anywhere," said Toledo.
Randy, who was also present during the 1992 unrest said more laws need to be enacted to hold police accountable.
"What today means to me back from 92 until now is that we have justice. We finally got the justice that we've looked for. For the police department, they need more rules and regulations. If you do bad, you're supposed to pay for it," he said.
In 1992, Florence and Normandie was the intersection where Reginald Denny was grabbed out of his vehicle and beaten up by four assailants following the acquittal of four police officers in the Rodney King beating.
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