Sometimes, “Los Angeles” made its way south. During the King Uprising in 1992, the rioting that sparked five days of turmoil in South Central found a little traction in San Diego where dozens of fires were set and a sniper took pot shots at two police officers in Southeast, hitting their car six times. Elsewhere, Molotov cocktails were lobbed through windows while furniture stores and a forklift services company were burned to the ground.
Closer to me, someone pitched a firebomb through a glass door at the mall where my sister worked and I often frequented. The fire was put out almost immediately and the door was replaced before the week was over.
Mostly, what I remember was fear. Fear that what was happening “up there” might happen “down here.” But that fear proved misplaced.
"In contrast to Los Angeles, you wouldn't know you were on the same planet, much less 100 miles away," [Police Chief Bob] Burgreen said. "We don't have the kind of problems in San Diego that we have in Los Angeles."