For almost a quarter of a century, the bare patch of land near the corner of Western Avenue and West Adams Boulevard has sat empty. Neighbors faintly remember it was once a medical office. Years before that, a historic bank operated on the same site, a pioneering enterprise founded by a black businessman. And city records show that still earlier, it was home to a hot dog stand.
Three days before the rioting began, the Rev. Cecil L. Murray took to the pulpit for his Sunday sermon. For weeks, the 62-year-old pastor of the First African Methodist Episcopal Church had watched anger and distrust grow in his community with each replaying of the video — the inescapable footage showing Los Angeles police officers cruelly beating Rodney King. “And if you're gonna burn something down, don't burn down the house of the victims, brother! Burn down the Legislature!
By Angel Jennings & Matt HamiltonLos Angeles Times
LOS ANGELES — When an angry mob erupted in violence across Los Angeles 25 years ago this week, two names were commonly invoked by those in the streets.One is well-known: Rodney G. King, the black man beaten by a group of baton-wielding police officers whose acquittal in a Simi Valley courtroom sparked the riots on April 29, 1992.King survived his 1991 beating.