KJLH in LA the night of the riots

Looking back 20 years, how much has really changed? This is a true lesson in race relations. So much happened during that time.  There was so much hate and venom. But underneath it all, was hurt, disappointment, tiredness and sadness.  They felt so powerless and did not know what else to do.  I hope we never feel like that again.

"Hi, my name is Shawn."

She was calling from somewhere in Los Angeles. It was midnight of the first night. The power was out, and everyone was still up.

“I'm actually living a little north of all of this,” she said. “I'm up off of Olympic and I can smell the fires from here."

The DJ, Eric "Rico" Reed, warned in a soft, late-shift baritone: "It's on your way."

The DJs at KJLH didn't have to leave their booth to witness the L.A. riots up close. Twenty years ago, the violence erupted just outside their studio. Their phone lines lit up. A woman called in tears. A father called desperately looking for his teenage son.

Shawn said she was a lawyer and that she had spent some time at First A.M.E. Church in Los Angeles’ Historic West Adams District, where people gathered after the verdict in the Rodney King beating trial. Some 40 miles away in Simi Valley, a nearly all-white jury had acquitted four police officers -- three white and one Hispanic -- who had been caught on film pummeling King, a black man, the previous year after a car chase. The acquittals touched off days of rioting in Los Angeles. More than 60 people were killed and thousands were injured.

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