Yesterday, I watched in horror as fires, violence, and destruction engulfed parts of our city. What began as a protest calling for justice for George Floyd, a man whose life was unjustly taken, devolved into something gratuitous, destructive, and selfish. 28 years ago, my family’s small business in Koreatown was affected during the 1992 Los Angeles riots. We lost everything, and we never financially recovered from that loss. The pain from the events of almost three decades ago came rushing back when I watched small businesses being looted and destroyed. How do those actions help obtain justice for George Floyd? If one of us is denied justice, none of us can ignore it. Lawless violence will never solve our problems.
For the last two and a half months, our City has sacrificed so much to fight COVID-19. Despite the economic cost, together we helped to flatten the curve, protect our most vulnerable, and save lives. Individuals and families have suffered. Businesses have suffered. And on the eve of what was supposed to be a celebratory weekend with businesses finally being allowed to reopen, we saw tragedy unfold instead.
I denounce the sickening actions of Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin. However, we can’t let the ugliness of what has happened to George Floyd justify what happened yesterday in Los Angeles.