‘Brutal’ M’sian police must learn from 1992 LA riots

Ye Choh Wah | May 7, 2012

The police brutality towards the Bersih crowd reminded me of incident in 1992 when the police in Los Angeles, USA, brutally beat up an unarmed black man named Rodney King.

The whole scene was videoed by an amateur (video was not so prevalent then).

Four white policemen were charged but eventually acquitted on April 29th 1992 (almost exactly twenty years ago from 428).

The next day, riots broke out that crippled the city of LA for days. Buildings were burned. There was looting, shots fired and the whole city was closed down.

At the end of the day 54 people were killed.

I happened to be visiting LA that time. My flight had to be diverted to Ontario, two hours drive away, with airlines arranging coaches to take us back to LA.

Upon reaching LA, the city was basically shut down. There were many burnt buildings and smoke everywhere.

We had a hard time to even find food. We had to cancel our plans to visit Disneyland the next day and left town.

However, being a much more open and transparent country, the whole incident did change the police force in LA, every other city in US and the world (except Malaysia maybe).

At Dataran Merdeka, the police may be allowed to take action against those that crashed the barriers, but not to fire at the crowd that never did.

Our chief of police mentioned he had no choice. I think otherwise. I was there that day. The crowd was obedient and orderly in the main.

If the police had just simply used a loudspeaker to ask the crowd to leave or risk facing action, most of the crowd would have dispersed.

It was as simple as that, but no warning was given.

I hope you can run an article on the 1992 riot. Hopefully it will remind our police force what they did was wrong, beating up civilians, and the consequences that it might lead to.

Also remind them it is not too late to change, just like LA did.

  1. #1 by Taxidriver on Thursday, 10 May 2012 - 1:40 am

    Malaysia is not LA, La is not Malaysia. In other countries, their policemen know taxpayers are their bosses but in Malaysia they boss over the taxpayers. If we must change the policing system in Malaysia, we must first change the UNMO/BN government. No other option lah.

  2. #2 by dagen wanna "ABU" on Thursday, 10 May 2012 - 9:03 am

    Umno is supreme to the united states. Umno has nothing to learn from the united states.

  3. #3 by PoliticoKat on Thursday, 10 May 2012 - 10:43 pm

    LA is not KL. And Malaysia is not the United States.

    This is not a bunch of guys in police uniforms beating a member of the public. This is probably police officer given orders to use any amount of force to breakup the protestors by top brass.

    You can have the policemen involve suspended but the same will happen again and again. As the orders from the top will be the same.

    Less similar Rodney King beating and more similar to the crowd control measures used in Moscow recently.

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