Mourners gather in LA's Leimert Park to mark Rodney King's passing

King Vigil

Ashley Myers-Turner/KPCC

Supporters, community members and activists bring signs, pictures and memories to share with each other about their connection with King.

King Vigil

Ashley Myers-Turner/KPCC

Najee Ali welcomes the crowd of about 50 people to Leimert Park for the Rodney King vigil.

King Vigil

Ashley Myers-Turner/KPCC

The Rodney King vigil takes on an upbeat and positive outlook about communitiy togetherness and positive change by looking at the positive change made by King.

King Vigil

Ashley Myers-Turner/KPCC

Kenneth Beavers shares a picture he took with Rodney King. "When I took at that picture with him I saw something in him. You can look at this man's eyes and see that he is forgiving," says Beavers.

King Vigil

Ashley Myers-Turner/KPCC

Rodney King's Lawyer, Milton Grimes, attends the vigil, speaking with the crowd.

King Vigil

Ashley Myers-Turner/KPCC

Rose Johnson Brown sits and enjoys listening and taking photos of different speakers and singing with group members.

King Vigil

Ashley Myers-Turner/KPCC

King's emotional LA riot statement of "Can we all get along" became a theme for the vigil as the crowd chanted together.

King Vigil

Ashley Myers-Turner/KPCC

Some in the crowd bring pictures of themselves meeting King and share their memories with each other.

King Vigil

Ashley Myers-Turner/KPCC

Members of the crowd stand out to share memories as well as bring up issues of race in the present. This man brought up the Trayvon Martin case as an example of race relations in modern day.

King Vigil

Ashley Myers-Turner/KPCC

Big Lenny addresses the group saying "Don't tell us we can't make a change" in the same way Rodney King made change.


A group of about 50 strong attended Rodney King's vigil in Leimert Park to celebrate the man's life and place in history. Activist Najee Ali, from Project Islamic Hope, organized the event.

At several points during the vigil, the entire crowd chanted "Can we all get along," a catchphrase King wanted to be remembered for. There were a number of guests including King's lawyer, Milton Grimes, and Henry Watson.

School teacher Kenneth Beavers was one of the Leimert Park locals at Monday night's memorial.

"I came out in support of a man who was beaten. And if it had have been a white kid, I would have been out here for them, too," he said. "Because no one should go through this. Nobody. No race. Anyone."

Attendees shared memories of King, as well as their experience with the L.A. Riots and the changes they had seen occur in the years since.

Rose Johnson Brown went with her family to every King hearing she could get to: "And when I met him, I asked him for a hug. And I told him, I have so long waited, I feel so blessed to have met you, to tell you I love you. I thank you for being, for keep getting up. You did not lay down and die,"
Brown said.

Leimert Park has been home to many community vigils through the years. Many celebrities have been remembered there as well, including Whitney Houston and Aaliyah.

Correction: What the crowd was chanting was initially misreported as "can't we all just get along."

More in Local

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus