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It was April 29 1992 and it was my twelve birthday My mom gave me a little chocolate cake with a plastic surfer riding a wave on top of it We were watching television while I was getting ready to blow out my candles There was a disturbance in South Central Los Angeles that the news helicopters were covering on every channel There were crowds of people flooding the intersection of Florence and Normandy acting rowdy and getting aggressive toward passing cars They stopped cars and pulled people out of them The news cameras were right on top of it all of the way Reginald Deny was taken out of his semi-truck and severely beaten You could see people enthused about beating this defenseless man One man grabbed a brick and threw it at Denys head then began to dance with enthusiasm The majority of the crowd were black and they were harassing any other race that happened to go through their neighborhood The crowd got out of control setting fire to cars and the violence was quickly spreading to other blocks around the neighborhood I continued to eat my cake as I watched the news broadcasting the surging violence The crowd was reacting to the acquittal just hours earlier of the four police officers in the beating of Rodney King2 People couldnt believe the outcome The beating of Rodney King was videotaped and shown over and over to the public People believed that finally there was going to be justice They believed that there was clear-cut evidence showing what has been complained about for years Finally people who had never believed the accounts of police brutality existed witnessed it for themselves Finally the public as a whole could react and try to control the officers that abuse their power But instead the officers were acquitted and the public felt betrayed Especially the black community who was fed up with their complaints falling on
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