Riots in the Streets, Angel to the Rescue
On March 3, 1991, Rodney King, a black man, was beaten by Los Angeles Police Department officers after a high-speed chase during his arrest for drunk driving. A civilian filmed the incident and sent the video to a local news station. The video showed an unarmed King on the ground being hit with batons at least 53 times after initially evading arrest. News media around the world picked up the story. Public outrage was high.
In 1992 the four police officers were tried on charges of using excessive force. Three were acquitted and the jury failed to reach a verdict on one charge for the fourth. Within hours of the acquittals, outraged citizens started the 1992 Los Angeles riots, which spread to the whole country. More than 2,300 people were injured and 63 people were killed.
On that same day I was in Atlanta for the last day of a software training session. By the time I needed to get to the airport to fly home, the riots were in full swing. Our hotel had a direct connection to the airport with the Marta metro system. BUT, there were stories flying everywhere of riots happening in Atlanta streets, and also on the Marta metro, and the stories included lots people getting beaten up. I got scared. My only two choices for getting to the airport were a taxi or Marta.
When I heard of folks getting beaten up on Marta, I went to the front of the hotel, and said to the concierge that I was thinking it would be safer to take a cab. A white-haired older man was walking by and overheard me. He stopped, then said to me, emphatically, that the metro was just fine and I should take it to the airport. So I did, and safely arrived at the airport. At the airport, people were talking about folks being pulled from taxi cabs and beaten up! I decided that older man was an angel, and saved me from getting beaten up.
The rest of the Rodney King story? The federal government prosecuted a separate civil rights case and the grand jury, April 16, 1993, found two officers guilty and they got sent to serve prison terms. In a separate civil lawsuit in 1994, a jury found the city of Los Angeles liable and awarded King $3.8 million in damages.
LESSON LEARNED: Hatred and violence always have consequences, tragically affecting far more than the original participants.
LESSON LEARNED: When unsure of your decisions, let others know your questions. They just might have the answers.
LESSON LEARNED: When overwhelmed with fear, don’t act hastily. You may have more options than you think. Besides Marta and a taxi, I now realize I could have just extended my hotel stay by another day or more until the danger passed.
LESSON LEARNED: Don’t go looking for angels. When the time is right, they’ll come looking for you.
Games and YouTube Videos
Here are the links to my signing and cueing YouTube “Word Of The Day” channels. I post a new word every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Check it out and I would love to know what you think of them!
Also, Check out my Adventure Games in the App Stores