HomeKorean AmericanCommunity to mark the 30th anniversary of the Koreatown riots

Community to mark the 30th anniversary of the Koreatown riots

Community leaders Tuesday announced plans to remember the lessons learned from the Los Angeles riots 30 years ago following the aftermath of the Rodney King verdict.

Anger over the jury decision in Simi Valley ignited widespread riots in Los Angeles, including in the Korean community where tensions had simmered between Blacks and Asians.

Video widely seen on TV news showed King being brutally beaten by four White officers.

KABC reports organizers have adopted the term saigu which translates to April 29 as its name for their campaign for healing.

“Trust in the system, in our leaders, and trust between different communities, who were pitted against one another, was at an all-time low,” Hyepin Im of Faith and Community Empowerment (FACE) said to CBS.

Najee Ali can still feel the outrage from that day 30 years ago but knows now it was wrong.

“We had a right to be angry, but what we didn’t have a right to do was turn on our fellow Angelenos,” Ali said.

Ali recalls not only bitterness over the verdict, but also over the killing of a young Black woman, Latasha Harlins, by a Korean store owner.

“Thirty years ago, the violence of Los Angeles Riots erupted as a result of failure of government, law enforcement, and even the media to act responsibly, FACE wrote on its website, according to Spectrum News. Communities were pitted against one another destroying lives, communities and livelihoods. 53 lives were lost, 2,000 businesses destroyed, and over a billion dollars in property damage were incurred. For the Korean community who incurred almost 50% of the billion dollars of property damage, they witnessed the fragility of the American dream as their life’s savings and dream were burned and destroyed in the ashes without political or police protection,” FACE said on its website

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