Katie: Good column. Wanted to footnote you on the L.A. ("Rodney King") riots you referenced. The police weren't just absent from view, they had been consciously pulled out of the area for their own safety. It was later litigated and the court ruled that police do not have a legal obligation to protect citizens' from pending and actual violence. They are only required to take a police report and perform investigations where warranted. I believe this was the Gonzales case in 2005.