This month is the 20th anniversary of the LA riots which began on April 29, 1992, following the acquittal of 4 LAPD officers in the brutal beating of Rodney King. I was assigned to photograph the neighborhood twenty years after the flashpoint of the violence, including the notorious Florence and Normandie intersection where Reginald Denny was seriously beaten. I was excited and also cautious about this assignment. The first day I accompanied a reporter as he interviewed some of the local neighborhood folks. Mostly, I found people to be friendly and willing to talk and be photographed. It was early in the day, but the liquor store on the corner was bustling and a few people had already had more than enough to drink. We walked the neighborhood and met some of the local residents. On the second day, one person suggested I "bring a bodyguard next time". A passing motorist yelled out some threats, but thankfully drove on when the light turned green. The only time I felt a real sense of fear was when a very loud boom went off, startling everybody in the vicinity, to our relief it was a couple of unlucky pigeons that somehow set off a small explosion on a power line.
|Rev. Cecil Murray|