Can't We Get Along? Taylor Made Mistake Being in Wrong Place at Wrong Time
Regrettably, memories of a murdered basketball player surfaced amid Rodney King's death last weekend. King drowned in his swimming pool from drug- and alcohol-induced delirium a little over a month after the 20th anniversary of the acquittal of four policemen accused in the videotaped beating of him. In the opening hours of south Los Angeles' riots, Dwight Taylor was in the wrong place at the wrong time while apparently stopping at a grocery store to pick up some milk for his family.
Taylor, a guard for Long Beach State's first two NCAA playoff teams in 1970 and 1971 under coach Jerry Tarkanian, was shot in a parking lot while en route to visiting his estranged wife and their children. Two bullets penetrated his neck and chest as he and two teenagers were the first of 53 people killed in the ensuing week of repulsive rioting and looting. Taylor, a teammate of All-American Ed Ratleff, was dubbed "Fishman" as an adult because of his trade cutting up fish at a neighborhood market.