DFW Talks About LA Riots: 20 Years Later

Dallas residents react 20 years after the Los Angeles riots

By Amanda Fitzpatrick
|  Monday, Apr 30, 2012  |  Updated 8:21 AM CDT
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Dallas residents talk about race relations 20 years after the start of the Los Angeles riots, which killed 55 people.

Amanda Fitzpatrick, NBC 5 News

Dallas residents talk about race relations 20 years after the start of the Los Angeles riots, which killed 55 people.

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It was 1992 when Los Angeles police were caught on tape beating Rodney King.  The accused officers, who were white, were later acquitted. People in LA rioted, 55 people died and racial tensions worsened. 

Now, 20 years later, members of First Baptist Dallas recall the day the riots took place.

"It doesn't even seem possible. It seems like yesterday," said church member Kerri Lorey.

Lorey, also remembers the pain from the images she saw on television.  Police in riot gear, looters and violence.

"I just remember thinking, 'Gosh, there's so much destruction going on. Why is this happening?' I just didn't understand it and it just makes me sad that's happening in our own country, because it shouldn't be. We should be loving one another," said Lorey.

In South Dallas, where greens, yams and cornbread are being served inside the South Dallas Cafe, patrons are dishing out their own conversation about the love lost during the LA riots.

Crystal Miller feels as if racism still exists, but remains hopeful that everyone can get along.

"It's not gone, it is not going away.  I don't know that it will ever go away," said Miller. "I just have hope that we have a God that is going to bring us together and as we look to him that will happen."

Keith Spurlock recalls six infamous words spoken by King after the riots that may still help mend race relations.

"I just remember Rodney King and his statement, 'Can't we all just get along?'" said Spurlock.

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