It crazy watching a documentary on the LA riots as an adult. So much horribleness came from this. Most parts of LA suffered. Generally speaking, cops in that era were way worse than the cops now. I understand how the people felt. That anger of being innocent but being treated as an animal. Just being a minority and dealing with mostly white cops back the 90’s was hard. You were seen as guilty until proven innocent. We had a big run in with cops as teenagers. It was my dad birthday and we had a family party at my house. The older relatives were inside eating and singing karaoke while the teens made up of my cousins and friends were on the front lawn hanging out. Turns out while we were there hanging out a house got robbed down the street, literally a block away. A cop drove by and saw us hanging out on our porch and they thought we did it. That cop car leaves and then calls in for back up. In a few minutes you hear the sirens of multiple cop cars coming and a helicopter in the distance. They block off our street and fill the entire road with cop cars. All the cops have their guns pointed at us. They are spread out, a cop behind the tree, a few cops behind their cars and a few cops behind our car that is parked in the driveway. Keep in mind, we are all around 15 or 16 years old. My friends and a few cousins all got put in handcuffs for a crime we didn’t commit. They lined all of us up on the lawn and they had us face the street on our knees. My family hears the ruckus going on outside and they open the door to see us all in handcuffs. The police then see other teens in the house and they walk a few steps into our house to pull some of them out. My dad comes out of the house and he yells “What is going on here?!” The lead officer in charge was an old white guy, older than my dad at the time. The officer yells “get back in side! This is none of your business.” My dad yells back this is my property and I demand to know what is going on!” They yell back and fourth for a few minutes. While this is going on we are still on our knees on the grass. I look to my left and see a bunch of cop cars on the street, I look to my right and see the sea of cop cars continuing all the way down. A few of the younger cops (both Latino and white) were talking to us while we were in handcuffs, I think after interacting with us they realized we were just kids and not a threat. They apologized and said “Just do as we say and you guys will be free soon.” We were proven innocent when the police officers put the owner of the house that got robbed into a squad car and had them drive down our street to see if they could identify any of us as the people that broke into their house. They said “no” and just like that all the most of the cop cars left and so did the helicopter. A few of the younger cops apologized, but the older white cop that was talking shit to my dad never apologized. He said “Your kids should be inside instead of on the street.” Then he left. It was fucking 10:00 and we are on our property and our family is inside celebrating a birthday. Do we have to be in bed by 10:00 pm? Why would that older cop apologize? He has to convince himself that he is always right.
With that one experience I can understand how other minorities felt, whether you are African American, Latino or Asian, do you really think a racist white cop from the 90’s could tell the difference? Do you think they even cared? If you weren’t white, you were a criminal. The issues in the black community started to boil over when Judge Joyce Karlin let Soon Ja Du get away with the murder of Latasha Harlins Du was convicted by the jury of voluntary manslaughter, the recommended prison sentence was 16 years but Du got community service and a small fine with no jail time. I don’t care about race, I care about whats right. Du admitted that the gun went off accidentally and the jury found her to be guilty, so why should the judge not give her any time in jail? Even if it was an accident, she should have got some time in jail. One of the Latasha Harlins relatives in front of the court house said “Racism is not the Korean killing her, racism is court system that allowed her to kill her.” Which is 100% true. The court is supposed to be fair to everyone, in this case it wasn’t fair to Latasha Harlins family.
That’s just part of the story that leads up to the LA Riots and part of my experience dealing with shitty racist cops. What the documentary to see how it unfolds. Thank you for reading. -aGIANTmonster