Simply Overkill, the Non-Stop Local TV Coverage 20 Years Later, the Los Angeles Riots (YouTube Videos)


I almost want to stop watching.  I almost have to stop watching. 

But you can’t.  Strangely enough you just can’t.  I just can’t.  I don’t want to go back.  I hate going back to some of the worst times in Los Angeles history.  I came to Los Angeles seven years ago to build a business, enjoy some fun in the sun by getting away from the snow back east.  I was tired of the snow. 

Los Angeles, southern California here I come.   

This is a strange day in Los Angeles.  At least for me.  I didn’t live in Los Angeles after the Rodney King verdict and the atermath that took place.  The LA Riots as they are now called began a long, ongoing conversation about the police and the relationship between the African American community that has changed the LAPD tremendously. 

It has also changed Los Angeles and America forever.

Interestingly enough the area I live in today, a neighborhood called Koreatown, bore the brunt of the almost week long riots in Los Angeles.  I didn’t know that until this morning.  After watching the non-stop local TV coverage of the LA Riots.  I guess I really didn’t care about those days.  Again, I wasn’t here and more important this type of incident just really pisses me off.  Black people tearing up black people and black neighborhoods.  White people being beaten by thugs.  Korean people that I live next to, especially the older ones, looking warily of me.  Not only do I live in Koreatown but my office is right in the middle of Koreatown. 

Tomorrow, at least for me, will be a different day.  It really will.  

I’ve always told myself that I like the people I live and work around.  “They say nothing to me, I say nothing to them,” is my response when they walk past me and ignore me. 

Wonderful I say.

Little did I know that some of the shop-owners living in Koreatown during the Los Angele Riots actually pulled out rifles, shotguns and pistols to defend their properties against the rioters, most of them African American.


None of us old enough to remember the live broadcasts of those riots will ever forget the acquittal of four white cops who pretty much beat the hell out of Rodney King.

Now living in Los Angeles, once again it’s a bit strange.  Just watching NBC4 Los Angeles and the station’s coverage of the 20 year anniversary of those riots, it seems so much has changed.  Then as I watch the same news programming of the riots, the talking heads on the news bring up the Trayvon Martin case in Sanford, Florida which seems that so little has changed.


20 years later, living and loving Los Angeles, there seems to be a calm reflection on those six days of turmoil which took so many lives.  The calm reflection that no matter what the results of the case  20 years ago today that it’s time to take a deep breath and hopefully look toward a better future.

Sure Rodney King’s verdict was wrong.  But re-living those awful days is something most people here in Los Angeles would like to forget. 

To turn back the hands of time, to keep complaining about bias and racism seems futile.  It will always be with us.  It’s never going away.  Some  people on both sides of the spectrum will never let racism die, not matter where they live, what they say or do each day to give those around them the impression that things are changing.  It’s never going to happen.  But to keep whining and moaning about the change which will never happen seems once again futile.

Watching Reginald Denny get beat up again won’t change anything.  What will change something is not forgetting the past but doing our best to move forward.  Well forward.  Anything less won’t move the issue anywhere.

Not the answer, right?  Not sure anyone has the answer.  But 20 years later, watching this video content of the LA Riots.  Well what’s that saying people use…”it’s surreal.”

Rick Thomas



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