About 100 Angelenos gathered at the FAME Renaissance building in the West Adams district of Los Angeles Friday to take part in a “Day of Dialogue” focusing on the Los Angeles Riots, two days before the twentieth anniversary.
Members of the community, including city leaders, police officers and local business-owners came together to discuss the how, why and what behind the anger and violence of the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
Those in attendance shared different experiences and differing opinions, leading to a mixed bag of results.
“I like going at it,” said participant Rahimah Shah. “People coming from different points of view, different ethnicities, that’s how it’s supposed to be.”
“The lady was talking about the black community not trusting police,” said one black male participant. “Well, my father was LAPD. She doesn’t speak for me, and that infuriates me.”
“They’ve always been there for me,” said one black female participant. “But for black men, it’s a different story.”
Participants discussed community relations before and after the riots on keypads, allowing the organizer, Community Partners, a local non-profit, to tally up results.
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“Unlike a lot of dialogues, there will be a report that reflects the group’s general feelings and priorities,” said David Campt, “Days of Dialogue” lead facilitator. “What do we need to be focusing on? What kind of activities do we need more of or less of?”
About 30 percent of the participants said their homes, church or businesses were impacted by the riots.
The entire group said the city still has a long way to go on improving community relations, and that it will take time to see real change.