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LA groups discuss race relations since riots

April 27, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Two decades have passed, but for many, the memories are fresh. Local leaders and community groups gathered for a "Day of Dialogue" to discuss race relations since the Los Angeles riots.

The violence erupted April 29,1992, a few hours after four police officers were acquitted of assault charges in the Rodney King beating.

On Friday, people from different ethnic groups joined forces at the First AME Church in Los Angeles to come up with ways to improve race relations. L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas helped organize the event.

While many of those attending the event said they saw big improvements since the King beating, they also feel there is still work that needs to be done when it comes to race relations.

"We want to see some change. I'm here to do whatever I can do to be a part of that change," said Sandi Hamilton of Los Angeles.

A new survey shows Angelenos are optimistic about the current state of race relations. When asked how ethnic groups are getting along now, 68 percent said well, while 27 percent said badly.

"I don't live in South Central, I don't live in Koreatown, but I work with folks around the city, and I see an awful lot of cooperation, and more than anything, respect," said Sally Vasen Alter of Los Angeles.

The L.A. riots lasted six days, leaving 53 people dead and nearly 2,000 injured. Property damage totaled $1 billion.