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All Things Considered Home Page30th Anniversary of ATC
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All Things Considered


  • Parts of Los Angeles erupt in riots when a jury fails to convict four white police officers of beating a black motorist named Rodney King.
  • Robert Siegel interviews author Salman Rushdie, who has been in hiding for three years because of death threats following the publication of his book The Satanic Verses.
  • On the May 7 show, reporter Cheryl Devall spoke with Roderick Brown, a security guard who lived in South-Central Los Angeles for 20 years, but moved his family to the suburbs after the riots. Brown said moving was "a sad thing to do" -- but he felt he had to, after what he saw in his own neighborhood:

    "My wife and I were walking outside to go up on Western Boulevard to see, you know, what was going on because there was a lot of smoke and stuff, fires and things, and she's from Belize and she never seen anything like this. Went up there, and a group of kids -- couldn't have been no more than 15, 16 years old -- about 20 of them had just ransacked a liquor store and shot up the liquor store window right on the corner. And they were walking up the street and they reached in this church and drug this guy out of the church and they stood there and they beat him for about 15, 20 minutes. And I -- I stood helpless because there were so many of them. They had guns and I feared for my life if I tried to stop them. And I told my wife right then -- I looked at her, I said, 'Go home, pack the kids up. Let's get them out of here.'"

    Hear the broadcast.