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'Hands Around City Hall' event marks LA Riots anniversary

Los Angeles City Council members and others participate in a ''Hands Around City Hall'' event — a symbolic gesture of
Los Angeles City Council members and others participate in a ''Hands Around City Hall'' event — a symbolic gesture of "cross-cultural unity" — on April 28, 2017, in downtown Los Angeles in remembrance of the L.A. Riots' 25th anniversary. The riots broke out on April 29, 1992.
Richard Vogel/AP

Los Angeles City Council members and others on Friday marked the 25 years since the Los Angeles Riots by organizing events intended to display what organizers called a "cross-cultural display of unity" at City Hall.

The City Council voted unanimously on a "Statement of Unity" that recognized the victims of the riots — those who lost their lives and others who lost their livelihoods. 

The statement — written by representatives of the Anti-Defamation League, the Los Angeles Police Department, and Korean-American and African-American organizations — denounced hatred and xenophobia.

Los Angeles City Council members and others participate in a ''Hands Around City Hall'' event — a symbolic gesture of
Los Angeles City Council members and others participate in a ''Hands Around City Hall'' event — a symbolic gesture of "cross-cultural unity" — on April 28, 2017 in downtown Los Angeles in remembrance of the L.A. Riots' 25th anniversary. The riots broke out on April 29, 1992.
Richard Vogel/AP

"Our city was falling apart and there was chaos both at a governmental level and community level," said Amanda Susskind,  the ADL's regional director. "There was anger, there was fury, hatred, stereotyping, there was bigotry. And it's important for these moments to be remembered — for them to be the beginning, for them to be a point of reference from which we can learn and grow and heal."

After the council's vote, hundreds of people, including city employees and schoolchildren, held hands and surrounded City Hall as a bell atop the building rang in remembrance of the more than 50 people who died in the riots. The violence also caused more than $1 billion in damage as rioters burned and looted hundreds of stores.

Los Angeles City Council members and others participate in a ''Hands Around City Hall'' event — a symbolic gesture of
Los Angeles City Council members and others participate in a ''Hands Around City Hall'' event — a symbolic gesture of "cross-cultural unity" — on April 28, 2017 in downtown Los Angeles in remembrance of the L.A. Riots' 25th anniversary. The riots broke out on April 29, 1992.
Richard Vogel/AP

Saturday is the anniversary of the 1992 riots that erupted in South Los Angeles after a jury acquitted four white police officers in the beating of black motorist Rodney King.