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Statement from the Los Angeles Urban League on the passing of Rodney King:
The Los Angeles Urban League extends sincere condolences to the family and friends of Rodney King. His untimely death closes a private chapter in the very public life that was thrust upon him. Mr. King became the face of those who find themselves helpless against abuses of authority. The videotape of LAPD offices beating Mr. King, their trial resulting in acquittals and the subsequent civil unrest changed the course of Los Angeles history and made an indelible imprint locally and nationwide on police reforms, racial profiling, community relations and community development.
The memory of Rodney King will be rooted in his plea for peace at the height of the riots. “Can’t we all get along?” On April 29, 2012, a Joint Statement of Unity was issued. The Anti-Defamation League, Los Angeles Urban League, SCLC LA and a coalition of organizations joined in commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Civil Unrest. LAPD and civil rights leaders, representing the diverse communities of Los Angeles, including the Korean American and African American communities stood in unity against hatred. The Statement read in part: “We pledge that our children will understand that diversity in our community is a strength and a source of pride, not cause for hatred and division.” This is in part the legacy of Rodney King.