It’s been 20 years since four white police officers were cleared of unlawfully beating Rodney King in Los Angeles. But we might never have heard of Rodney King had it not been for an amateur cameraman who caught the whole thing on tape. On this edition, we hear how video cameras have changed the way we see the police. In a special radio adaptation of the film “Police Tape,” journalist Josh Wolf investigates how law enforcement and amateur videographers across the country have responded to changing technologies.
I was living in Atlanta at the time and it was no more acceptable to see random white people targeted for racial attacks yt by blacks than it was to see Mr. King being beaten by white police. Atlanta proved herself unworthy of the being called "the city too busy to hate."
but to celebrate Florence and Normandie (an intersection whose name still haunts me to this day, no shit) as some kind of "ground zero for victory" of any kind is obscene.
I don't want to be argumentative, but I'm not sure I can agree that George Holliday made some kind of "sacrifice" in all of this. If he endured a lot of trouble as a result of selling his videotape to a local news channel for $500, the subsequently endured a lot of hardship as a result of it, that's not a sacrifice. That's "an act of opportunism that ended up costing him."
I'm not saying he didn't get screwed, or that the ordeal cost him, or that his initial motives were otherwise than genuine. If he knew how much the whole ordeal would have cost him, would he still have sold his tape to the news purely out of being horrified by what he saw?
After receiving a report that Governor Hutchinson had again refused to let the ships leave, Adams announced that "This meeting can do nothing further to save the country." According to a popular story, Adams's statement was a prearranged signal for the "tea party" to begin. However, this claim did not appear in print until nearly a century after the event, in a biography of Adams written by his great-grandson, who apparently misinterpreted the evidence. According to eyewitness accounts, people did not leave the meeting until ten or fifteen minutes after Adams's alleged "signal", and Adams in fact tried to stop people from leaving because the meeting was not yet over.
While Samuel Adams tried to reassert control of the meeting, people poured out of the Old South Meeting House headed out to prepare to take action. In some cases, this involved donning what may have been elaborately prepared Mohawk costumes. While disguising their individual faces was imperative, because of the illegality of their protest, dressing as Mohawk warriors was a very specific and symbolic choice. As with the rattlesnake on the Gadsden Flag, and the use of the Bald Eagle as the national symbol, this was the specific assumption of something American over traditional European symbolism. It showed that the Sons of Liberty identified with America, over their official status as subjects of Great Britain.
Whether or not Samuel Adams helped plan the Boston Tea Party is disputed, but he immediately worked to publicize and defend it. He argued that the Tea Party was not the act of a lawless mob, but was instead a principled protest and the only remaining option the people had to defend their constitutional rights.
I was arrested twice in San Francisco in the weeks after this while participating in demonstrations. Arrests that resulted in lawsuits against the SFPD for violating our civil rights. Which we won. Hard to believe that was 20 years ago.
In my experience, all "riots" are really police riots.
Gates finally resigned on June 28, 1992, and was replaced by Willie L. Williams. A second commission, the Webster Commission, headed by former FBI and CIA Director William H. Webster, was formed in the wake of the riots. Its report, released on October 21, 1992, was generally considered to be scathingly critical of the department (as well as other government agencies) and was especially critical of Gates' management of it.
None of the three riots I've been in were escalated by police. Rather, it was precisely the lack of visible presence that gave an already violently bad situation more fuel.
When Reginald Denny was beaten, there wasn't a cop anywhere in sight
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