LOS ANGELES - On the afternoon of Friday, April 29, Lora King, daughter of the late Rodney King, plans to join Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and activist Najee Ali at the corner of Florence and Normandie avenues in South LA.
Thirty years have passed since violence erupted at the intersection on that very date in 1992.
Recently, 38-year-old Lora King and I met at the infamous corner. It was a blistering hot day. Drivers honked, buses idled. Lora recalled 1992, she was 8 just years old and had recently moved to South LA, where she lived with her mom and grandmother. She said she watched the trial televised from Simi Valley every day, the Los Angeles Police Department officers accused of brutally beating her father.
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On April 29, 1992, the officers were acquitted, and the anger spilled into the streets. Yet, it wasn’t until people began chanting her father’s name — "Rodney King, Rodney King" — that she realized her father’s beating, the court acquittal and the violence in the streets were inexorably connected.
Lora said her father felt very guilty that people died during the riots. That was part of what compelled him to make a plea in front of the cameras on May 1, imploring, "Can we, can we all get along?"
Today Ms. King is the Chief Executive Director for the Rodney King Foundation. The foundation seeks to provide stronger ties between the community and police. It also advocates for social justice.