And the chaotic and violent protests soon began. We remember. Because we were there.
You knew what was coming when the minister at the historic First AME Church, watching television with a group of church leaders, sat in stunned silence when the verdict was read, a tear coming down his cheek.
Shortly after that, as rush hour approached, two women with a baby carriage walked slowly down a busy street, carrying a home-made cardboard sign saying “Honk if you think they are guilty.” (This sparked much honking, and people threw bottles onto the street.)
And, judging from the complete non-police presence at the corner of Florence and Normandie, where truck driver Reginald Denny was pulled from his vehicle and severely beaten, the LAPD seemed totally unprepared for the eruption. (There was one squad car, we recall, that cruised up to the intersection, slowed briefly and sped away.)
Had the Ferguson verdict been earlier, it’s hard to imagine it would have made much difference.