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Why Dem. Senators Richard Pan and Steven Glazer are holding out their votes on ethnic studies bill


Senator Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) Senator Stephen Glazer (D-Contra Costa)

In April 1992, violent riots broke out in Los Angeles after an almost all-White jury (one juror later “came out” as biracial 10 years later) handed down a not guilty verdict in the case of Rodney King, an African-American man who four LAPD police officers tasered, subdued and beat severely with batons. During the unrest that followed, low-boiling tensions between African-American residents in the neighborhood and immigrant Korean business owners heated up to an explosive six-day period of burning, looting and killings that left more than 50 people dead, about 1,000 more injured and over a $1 billion in property damages, mostly to the local Korean-owned businesses. Although both groups existed side-by-side in the same community with only little dust-ups here and there, it took a flash of anger to expose long-harbored frustration and deeply-rooted cross-cultural intolerance.

In 2014, President Obama commissioned the Presidential Task Force on 21st Century Policing after police officers shot and killed an Afican-American teenager, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri. One of the r