Sunday, 29 April 2007
LA Riots Fifteen Years On
Fifteen years ago, Los Angeles, California broke out in riots after an all-white jury acquitted four white police officers charged with the beating of black motorist, Rodney King. The brutal beating of Rodney which was captured on video followed by the appalling decision would serve to highlight, that in “the land of the free and home of the brave”, the black man was still not an equal. The four policemen were retried, two were acquitted again and two were found guilty and sentenced to two years in prison. King’s treatment was not isolated and before the end of the century, a number of other incidences had occurred involving police brutality and abuse against black men. The cases of Haitian immigrant Abner Louima who was severely beaten and then sexually abused by New York City police officers in a Brooklyn station in 1997 and Amadou Diallo, the unarmed Guinean immigrant who was shot 41 times and killed by New York City police officers in 1999 stand out.