Thursday, April 30, 2020
Commander Zero reminded us yesterday that this is Rooftop Korean Anniversary time.
His linked story, however, is large amounts of ahistoric twaddle.
Whoever wrote that tripe has no idea what went down, and clearly wasn’t alive nor living in L.A. at the time. I was.
During the interim between the Rodney King incident, and the Rodney King Verdict, a female Korean liquor store clerk in South Central was getting walloped for stopping a teenage black girl from shoplifting, so as the black girl (the 1991 exemplar of Trayvon Martin Syndrome: "Play Stupid games: Win Stupid Prizes") left the store with (or without) a stolen orange juice bottle, the store owner capped her with her gat – in the back. Deader than canned tuna, right there.
And then got a pass from the L.A. County court (probation, fine, community service. No prison time). C'est la guerre.
Koreans had taken over many of the markets in South Central L.A. over decades, after the previous owners (generally Jewish) had been burned out of the ‘hood in the Watts Riots of ’65. The lack of any supermarkets in that aftermath, for those long decades, made South Central (exactly as today) a “food desert”, where absent a long drive to less diverse regions of the city, only corner liquor stores had the handy necessities of life, like milk, eggs, bread, etc., and being the Diversity, the locals, either lacking the wherewithal and desire to run their own markets, or more likely, knowing that they’d be robbed and shoplifted blind by their own co-Diversity beans, resented the outsiders. Plus ça change...
The shooting above didn’t add anything to their fund of ill will.
So come the Rodney King Free Shoes and Televisions Festival, old scores got settled. Not least of which with Korean shopkeepers in the ‘hood.
In one memorable bit of local color, the Koreans, many former military veterans of South Korea’s National Service rules, took to the roofs of their stores.
LAPD, all aflutter, bypassed rioting Diversity beans of all colors in their haste to disarm the Koreans doing what LAPD would not do. (And no, LAPD wasn’t “stretched too thin”, they were deployed to the central bus yards, and there waited and watched the riots for three days, because Chief Knucklehead Wannabe Gates and Mayor Egging The Riots On Bradley weren’t on speaking terms. The rank and file was largely furious, but management’s plan was to do absolutely nothing, mainly to punish the citizenry at large for daring to indict police officers for beating the hell out of anyone they felt deserved it. Anybody above the rank of Sgt. in LAPD from then on was and is now, a complete gutless douchebadge.)
So when confronted by LAPD on the point, the Koreans handed over their rifles, and LAPD did what they did best in the riots: they beat feet and hid again.
Whereupon the Koreans, being no dummies, waited until the black-and-whites drove off leaving skidmarks, went to their trunks, pulled out their second set of arms, returned to their rooftops, and prevented many a mob from doing to their stores what happened to thousands of others.
On seeing one approaching group seeking cheap goods, the rooftop Koreans present scattered a number of rounds into the pavement ahead of the melee, and the crowd quickly decided to go loot and burn on another street, while still several hundred yards short of their objective.
That’s how it works in a riot: people tend not to go all in just for the fun of looting and arson, if it’s going to become a life-and-death proposition.
There were no complaints, and no arrests, AFAIK, of any rooftop Koreans for the duration. IDK whether they ever got the original set of confiscated rifles back, but knowing the LAPD and D.A., it’s doubtful.
And the whole kerfluffle could have been nipped in the bud, when videographer George Halliday showed up at the Foothill Division station with his homeshot video of the original incident the next day, suggesting that the LAPD might want to pass it along to their Internal Affairs folks for further investigation. Whereupon the desk sergeant in L.A.'s Finest "suggested" to Halliday that he ought to get the hell out of the station rapidly, before he got himself arrested, so he took it over to KTLA-TV instead. The rest is history.
The moral of the story: