Angered over a new Los Angeles city ordinance that could impose obstacles to reopening liquor stores and swap meets destroyed in the riots, a group of Korean merchants announced plans Friday to file a lawsuit to block the restrictions.
"The adoption of this ordinance largely impacts Korean-American businesses," said Yung Gill Kook, an attorney representing the merchants. "It has a discriminatory effect."
The new ordinance expedites rebuilding for some businesses, but it retains existing rules for liquor and other stores criticized by some as contributing to urban blight.
Jeong Seo, owner of a burned liquor store, said the City Council "cannot blame problems on the Korean businessman. Those problems were caused by City Council planning a long time ago."
Jin Lee, of the 1992 Korean-American Victims Assn., said that City Council members failed to adequately inform his community of hearings and the final vote on the ordinance, so no Korean-American opposition could be mounted. "I look at this as a conspiracy," he said.