LA Riots events to be held across the Southland to commemorate 20th anniversary

LA Riots Collages

Mae Ryan/KPCC with archival photo by Gary Leonard

Police quell looters and fires near 924 S Vermont Ave in Koreatown on April 29th, 1992. Few Koreans received help from the city in rebuilding their stores after the riots.

Events will be held today to analyze, remember or discuss the 1992 riots frenzy that convulsed Los Angeles, after four police officers were acquitted of the videotaped beating of black man Rodney King at the end of a car chase.

  • The Rev. Al Sharpton, the black activist who now hosts a daily show on MSNBC, will speak during the 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. services at First AME Church, 2270 S. Harvard Blvd.
  • At noon, photographer Gary Leonard will host a reception at his gallery for an exhibition of photos and videos taken by him and his son David on April 29, 1992 — the Wednesday the rioting started. The monthlong exhibit is titled "Parker Center." The studio is at Take My Picture, 860 S. Broadway.
  • At 1 p.m., a South L.A. social justice group called Community Coalition will draw attention to the vacant lots along Vermont and Manchester avenues. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is expected to attend the event called "South L.A. Rises: Community Fair and Rally" at 81st Street and Vermont Avenue.
  • The Anti-Defamation League will release a joint statement of unity, signed by a coalition of organizations taking a stand against hatred, including the ACLU, the Los Angeles Police Commission, NAACP, Asian Pacific American Legal Center, CHIRLA and the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. That event will be at 1:30 p.m. at the Robert F. Kennedy School, 701 S. Catalina St. in Koreatown.
  • A group called Korean Churches for Community Development will hold a commemorative event with presenters including Van Jones, Edward James Olmos and other leaders at 3:30 p.m. at the Glory Church of Jesus Christ, 1801 S. Grand Ave.
  • At the epicenter of the riot, Florence and Normandie avenues, a group called the Coalition for Community Control Over Police will hold a "speakout" at 3 p.m. One hour later, a "Solidarity Press Conference" will be held there by the 77th Street Area Police Advisory Board, the 77th Street Area Clergy Council, Cease Fire, Detours Mentoring Group, Project Accountability, Seeking Peaceful Solutions, Unity 2.
  • And at 4 p.m. in Long Beach, where riots also raged, the Long Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition will present an interfaith service and message of hope during a service at First Congregational Church of Long Beach. 241 Cedar Ave.

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