Reply Fri 27 Apr, 2012 04:28 pm
Today is the 20th anniversay of the acquital of the police officers in the Rodney King incident, and the subsequent riots in Los Angeles. With the situation in Florida, i am interested in your thoughts on what might happen now if there is no trial, or there is an acquittal. I'm not interested in hearing tedious repetitions of people's claims about anyone's guilt of innoncence. Just on what you think the likely reaction will be to either no trial or an acquittal.
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Reply Fri 27 Apr, 2012 05:00 pm
I admit I was concerned if, for some inexplicable reason, authorities had chosen to not arrest Zimmerman.

Now that he's at least been charged and will, hopefully, be tried, I think most will accept the outcome peacefully.

But, yes, the 'no trial' part still worries me and I guess that's a possibility.
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Reply Fri 27 Apr, 2012 05:34 pm
I don't know if there will be much of any violent reaction as long as the judicial process is open and seems to work. In case of acquittal or the charges being dropped, I can see there being protests and calls to state legislatures to make sure it doesn't happen in their state with some silly "shoot anyone in your way" law that may have been passed.

Sanford isn't big enough to have built up racial tension that would riots. I doubt any of the other Florida cities will see it either.
Lustig Andrei
Reply Fri 27 Apr, 2012 06:55 pm
I don't know how much racial tension goes on as a matter of course in that part of Florida, so it's hard to prognosticate. Tension in L.A. had been building long before the verdict in the Rodney King case finally caused the explosion. South Central, along with Watts, were ready to blow; the King debacle just gave it impetus. There's another difference -- the defendants in the Rodney King case were LAPD cops. This made it seem that they were part of 'the system' and 'the system' was protecting its own and perpetuating what was perceived as biased police stand against people of the black ghetto. I don't know whether the situation is similar in that part of Florida.

In a very real sense, the beating of Rodney King was not seen as anything unusual by most people in the know, certainly not by those living in South Central or Watts. What was unusual was having the video as incontrovertible evidence that the police were, in fact, racist thugs (in the minds of the residents of those areas, I mean). It gave some people an unrealistic hope that this time things might turn out differently and the 'thugs' would be punished. But then the venue was moved to Simi Valley (an egregious mistake on the part of the judge, in my opinion) and the whole thing went BOOM.

I remember hearing the 'not guilty' verdict announced the night the trial ended. I was living up in the woods in New Hampshire at the time and said out loud to anyone within earshot: "My Gawd! L.A. is going to blow." The next morning it did.
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Reply Fri 27 Apr, 2012 07:03 pm
I sense a certain degree of naivete here.
There has already been related violence.
The tensions related to the long arm of racism are not exclusive to Sanford or Florida.
The "judicial process" amounts to a group of people who cloak their innermost passions, prejudices and preconceived notions behind a government seal and the title of authority.
So, with so many unemployed, students who cannot pay loans, hard working people losing there homes, short tempers in summer heat...etc, unfortunately, the formula has already been blended.
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Reply Fri 27 Apr, 2012 07:38 pm
I was only 8 years old at the time of the Rodney King incident, but I remember driving with my mom on the 405 freeway and smoke was everywhere! She told me it was just another forest fire, I realized later what it really way.

I don’t see that happening here in Florida as there are too many white racists living here. I’ve heard people at work and in public places say how shocked they are that Zimmerman was even arrested.

Reply Fri 27 Apr, 2012 10:44 pm
I've posted before that
my later husband was playing baseball in Watts as a white boy who lived nearby the day of the start of the watts riots,
that his parents lived a couple of blocks from the start of the '92 stuff, he then being with me to the west,
that later business partner and I left work at her studio on hearing news on the radio and the place next to hers was torched that night.

Big changes needed, some of them addressed.

Florida I have no idea about.

Oh, the LA Times has an article on all this today, too bad I'm not a subscriber.
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Reply Sat 28 Apr, 2012 12:32 am
When this case is kicked we will get a lot of sniveling from the usual suspects, but it will vanish quickly. We have too many pressing problems on our plate right now, so we have no stomach for yet another round of fighting about race or guns. As for the government abuse of power and the failed justice system, we will continue to avert our eyes.
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Reply Sat 28 Apr, 2012 09:13 am
Very good question, Setanta.

I agree with most of what's already been said here, except for the notion that somehow not enough history of tension exists in the Sanford, Florida area to produce any conflagration worth worrying about. Look a little into the history of racial tension qua police injustice in Sanford.

Speaking only for myself, I'll tell you what I told my wife:
Just as it would have been if I had been in S. Central LA at the time that terrible verdict was heard, I can't swear that I definitely would not chunk a brick through a plate glass window just out of pure disappointed frustration and rage if they decided to just let the perp go.

Reply Sat 28 Apr, 2012 09:22 am
Thanks for your honesty. This is a situation which has incensed black and white people all over the nation. That's why i asked this question. If he is not prosecuted, i think there'll be a very bad reaction. But i did want to hear what everyone has to say.
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