A few months ago, during a horrible rainstorm my GPS gave me shortcut that landed me in a park in the dark. Feverishly driving to get out and get home safely, I was abruptly pulled over the “park police”. As a resident of Los Angeles and with racial tensions at an all time high across the county, I don’t have to tell you that I was alone and I was frightened. Luckily for me, I was released without incident.
However, like today, Los Angeles in the 1980’s was full of turmoil and racial tension, Also, like today, the trust and mistrust of the police department…particularly the LAPD is a never-ending discussion.
Rodney King was not only synonymous with the saying “Can’t we all just get along?”, but he was also the victim of a brutal police beat down. Just like Oscar Grant in Oakland and most recently in Pasadena, CA , while in police custody…Reginald Thomas, Jr. The only difference is Rodney King lived to tell the tale unlike Grant, Thomas, James Mincey, Jr, Latasha Harlins and so many more,
Let it Fall takes an unapologetic look at the 1992 L.A. uprising tracing its roots back a decade and unfolding its history as a series of personal decisions and very public failures. Weaving heartbreaking accounts from black, white, Asian and Hispanic Angelinos of all classes, we’re given a front row seat to how everyone got caught up in a cascade of rising tension culminating in an explosion of anger and fear after the Rodney King verdict.
Written, produced and directed by Oscar winner John Ridley along with Co-Producer Meila Patria, Fatima Curry and Jeanmarie Condon, there is literally no page left unturned.
Remembering the L.A. Riots and the Rodney King beating vividly, I was surprised to become enlightened about all the elements and incidents that were popping off. I had no idea that a young Latasha Harlins was shot in the head over some orange juice by the shop owner. No idea that Karen Toshima, a budding artist, was gunned down in Westwood. No idea that James Mincey, Jr. was murdered based on the stereotype that he “looked” “big and threatening” or that innocent families had their homes ransacked for drugs leaving their abode inhabitable.
It’s amazing and mind-boggling how so many things change, yet stay the same. We can only hope as citizens that soon “a change will come” and a new dawn will break where Americans of ethnic descent and/or women don’t have to live in fear of the police that are supposed to be trained to “serve and protect” our community.
You can catch Let It Fall on ABC April 28th. Check local listing for times. For more programs covering the 25th Anniversary of the L.A. Riots check out these documentaries as well…