NORTHWEST, DC (WUSA) -- The nation is reacting to Rodney King's death and how the L.A. Riots changed the conversation about race relations and Law Enforcement in America.
It was the topic of conversation at DC's Landmark restaurant: Ben's Chili Bowl.
Vida Ali recounts her time in Los Angeles during the riots.
"I remember Hollywood Boulevard on fire. It was the weirdest thing to wakeup and see those many buildings on fire. You never forget the picture."
Demetrius Otis of Laurel Md says, "it opened a lot of dialogue in America that may have needed to happen at a time it happened when it happened."
Former DC Mayor Sharon Pratt was in office during the LA Riots and knows something about the matter and dealing with racial tension.
"I knew there were problems with an increased diverse population in particular, the El Salvadoran population."
The Mount Pleasant riots broke out soon after Pratt took office.
Police shot a Salvadoran man following a Cinco de Mayo celebration in 1991.
Pratt, "No body wants to think riots are a precursor to good. But it was a wake up call to the city."
People unleashed their rage onto the streets in Northwest.
Rodney King will always be linked to the L.A. Riots and the dialogue it sparked about race relations in this country.
In his death, it continues to be a conversation.
Ali, "It brings back a moment. You never know the impact you make.
For that particular case it made a difference. You have to look at that and see how can we become a better community.
Virginia Ali says, "Why can't we all get a long. It holds true today. Why can't we all just get along."