What do you remember most?
I remember how the news portrayed the riots as complete chaos, but for a young Black boy, there was a different reality. For the first time in my life, I remember feeling safe. During the riots, gangs were not fighting each other, so we didn’t have to fear drive by shootings. Thieves were looting stores, so we didn’t have to fear ‘stick-up kids’. For those few days, there was no beef between Blacks and Latinos, so we were not afraid of venturing into different neighborhoods. Most significantly, there was NO LAPD presence in the entire community. So for the first time, a young Black or Latino man could walk around the streets without fear of being arrested or murdered by police. To this day, I have never felt peace or safety like I did during those few days.
- John Calvin Byrd III