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30 Years Ago Rodney King Asked LA To 'Get Along.' His Daughter Is Still Asking

A crowd of more than a dozen people surround an outdoor podium where a woman wearing a multicolored dress stands a microphone during a press conference.
Lora King, Rodney King’s daughter, and CEO of the Rodney King Foundation, speaks at a press conference at Florence and Normandie marking the 30th anniversary of the LA Uprising.
(Emily Elena Dugdale
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“It’s very easy for us to get along.”

Rodney King’s daughter, Lora King, told a crowd of politicians, locals and reporters gathered at the 76 gas station at Florence and Normandie on Friday that not enough has changed since her father’s beating 30 years ago at the hands of four Los Angeles Police Department officers.

“We're still asking that question today. Are you serious?” she said, adding that she still worries about her community becoming “the next hashtag.”

“We shouldn’t just make this a one-year thing,” she said of the anniversary. “We should have a domino effect on the world.”

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Protests erupted in this area after a jury acquitted an LAPD sergeant and three officers of almost all charges related to the beating of Rodney King.

Locals watching the press conference recalled smoke and burning buildings.

“It looked like straight war. Like out of a movie,” a man who only gave his name as Jay said, adding that he was only 4 years old at the time. “To see the devastation as I got older, that’s really troublesome stuff."

King survived the abuse. But he drowned at home in his swimming pool in 2012.

Florence and Normandie
The intersection of Florence and Normandie in 2022.
(Emily Elena Dugdale/LAist)

“The anger and the grief that exploded 30 years ago are still very real and present in trauma here today,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said at the press conference.

He added thata recent Loyola Marymount University survey showed that about 68% of Angelenos thought it was likely that the city would see another wave of unrest in the next five years.

“With all the suffering we’ve gone through, that’s not hard to understand,” he said, citing the COVID-19 pandemic and “racial injustice.”

Another tragic part of the uprising — 15-year-old Latasha Harlins’ shooting death at the hands of a Korean American liquor store owner, Soon Ja Du.

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Harlins’ cousin, Shinese Harlins-Kilgore, runs a foundation in her name and said there’s still work to do to mend the hurt.

“I’m ready to grind, and get my community back,” she said. “Less crime, less hate, more love, more peace.”

But at the event commemorating a protest, three LAPD officers surrounded and silenced a lone protestershouting at Garcetti with a megaphone.

Locals watching like Mel, who didn’t want to share his last name, said their neighborhood is still waiting for city investment. “Not nothing has rebuilt. These four corners are still the same,” he said.

He said all they got was a Subway sandwich shop — and even that’s gone.

What questions do you have about criminal justice in Southern California? 
Emily Elena Dugdale covers smaller police departments around Southern California, school safety officers, jails and prisons, and juvenile justice issues. She also covers the LAPD and the L.A. Sheriff’s Department.