The Special Report with Areva Martin hosted Najuma Smith-Pollard for a conversation on the impact of the Rodney King beating on Los Angeles and the country 30 years later, along with Lora King, Prof. Jody Armour, Prof. Margalynne Armstrong, Dr. Gaye Johnson, and Dr. Brenda Stevenson.
Following the acquittal of the police officers who beat Rodney King, Smith-Pollard was among the thousands who gathered at First AME Church in Los Angeles, she said. “It wasn’t as if Pastor Murray sent out a mass text on the day of the verdict. Pastor Murray had prepared us…. It was an overwhelming rush of pain, anger, frustration, disbelief.”
She also spoke about what was missed in the media’s focus on looting and the work of rebuilding Los Angeles then and now.
“We rally; we have vigils; we pray,” Smith-Pollard said. “People were doing what they could to bring peace and love to the moment because everyone was so hurt.”
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