It has been 20 years since the LA Riots and the AP has an article posted about the riots to include how Korean-Americans were targeted by the rioters and the police did little to protect them:
But that day was a rage, he and others in the community say, fueled by years of high unemployment, abuse and neglect by police, and rising tension with recently arrived Korean store owners.
“We wanted jobs around here, we wanted respect and we didn’t get none of that. And then the police just harassed us all the time,” says Sharon McSwain, who for 22 of her 45 years has lived within walking distance of the intersection where Denny was attacked. He was saved by a black truck driver who rushed out to help after seeing the brutal beating on television.
Tensions in the community had been running high before the riot, fueled in part by the case of a Korean grocer who shot to death a black teenager she had accused of trying to steal a bottle of orange juice. The grocer, Soon Ja Du, was convicted of manslaughter for killing 15-year-old Latasha Harlins, but received a sentence of only probation and community service.
Like King’s beating, the shooting had been captured on videotape, by Du’s store surveillance camera. The images stoked the anger. (….)
On April 29, 1992, it seemed Holliday’s videotape would be the key evidence leading to a guilty verdict against the officers. When they were instead acquitted, violence erupted immediately.
Police, seemingly caught off-guard, were quickly outnumbered by rioters and retreated. As the uprising spread to the city’s Koreatown area, shop owners armed themselves and engaged in running gun battles with looters.
“I think we did the right thing,” said attorney David Kim, who had gone on Korean-language radio to encourage people to take up arms because the police weren’t protecting them. [Associated Press]
Also here is an article from a local radio station in LA that goes into greater depth in regards to the Korean-American community in LA and the effects of the riots.