20 years after riots, hope and despair in South L.A.: The LAPD’s better relationship with the community, plummeting crime and less graffiti are improvements. But frustration, isolation and the lack of enough jobs still plague the area.

As we kept going — past one of L.A.’s least-appreciated gems, the cozy business district in Leimert Park — I mentioned how, in some ways, many of these neighborhoods look and feel different than they did even 10 years ago. Back then, I’d roll to a stoplight and look around warily, on guard for gang-bangers or cowboy cops itching to pull me over for driving while black. Not anymore.
Mack agreed, noting more positives. The relationship between African and Korean Americans has gotten better. The Latino community keeps growing, forming the majority in most neighborhoods in South L.A., and while there’s black and Latino tension, diversity is a strength.

Photo: Tray Ware, left, hugs Police Commissioner John Mack at Florence and Normandie avenues, where rioting broke out soon after the verdicts were read in the Rodney King beating case. Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

20 years after riots, hope and despair in South L.A.: The LAPD’s better relationship with the community, plummeting crime and less graffiti are improvements. But frustration, isolation and the lack of enough jobs still plague the area.

As we kept going — past one of L.A.’s least-appreciated gems, the cozy business district in Leimert Park — I mentioned how, in some ways, many of these neighborhoods look and feel different than they did even 10 years ago. Back then, I’d roll to a stoplight and look around warily, on guard for gang-bangers or cowboy cops itching to pull me over for driving while black. Not anymore.

Mack agreed, noting more positives. The relationship between African and Korean Americans has gotten better. The Latino community keeps growing, forming the majority in most neighborhoods in South L.A., and while there’s black and Latino tension, diversity is a strength.

Photo: Tray Ware, left, hugs Police Commissioner John Mack at Florence and Normandie avenues, where rioting broke out soon after the verdicts were read in the Rodney King beating case. Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

  1. luvs1c reblogged this from latimes and added:
    Almost exactly 20 years ago. Always reblog, always remember.
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    "We can’t afford to stop," Mack said. He mentioned families, expectations and black-on-black crime. "We have to have...
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