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Los Angeles Riots: 20 years later

On the af­ter­noon of April 29, 1992, a jury in Ven­tura County ac­quit­ted four LAPD of­ficers of beat­ing Rod­ney G. King. The in­cid­ent, caught on am­a­teur video­tape, had sparked na­tion­al de­bate about po­lice bru­tal­ity and ra­cial in­justice. The ver­dict stunned Los Angeles, where angry crowds gathered on street corners across the city. The Los Angeles riots would become one of the worst in the nation's history. The flash point was a single in­ter­sec­tion in South L.A., but it was a scene eer­ily re­peated in many parts of the city in the hours that fol­lowed.

Then May­or Tom Brad­ley called a loc­al state of emer­gency and then Gov. Pete Wilson or­dered the Na­tion­al Guard to ac­tiv­ate 2,000 re­serve sol­diers. During six days of rioting, more than 60 people died amid the looting and fires and more than 2,000 people were injured. A year later, a federal jusry would find officers Sta­cey C. Koon and Laurence M. Pow­ell guilty of violating King's civil rights. Officers Theodore J. Bris­eno and Timothy E. Wind were ac­quit­ted for their role in the ar­rest and beat­ing. King drowned in the pool of his Rialto home in 2012. He was 47.

  • Many say L.A. is safer 20 years after 1992 riots, poll finds

    Many say L.A. is safer 20 years after 1992 riots, poll finds

    Survey finds that many L.A. residents perceive the city as safer and as having better race relations than in 1992, when rioting left 54 people dead and caused more than $1 billion in property damage.

  • Newton: The night the LAPD failed

    Newton: The night the LAPD failed

    L.A.'s Police Department had a civic duty 'to protect and to serve'; on April 29, 1992, it did neither.

  • LAPD goes from oppressor to partner

    LAPD goes from oppressor to partner

    In 1992, the Los Angeles Police Department was regarded with suspicion and downright hostility by many in South L.A. Now, two decades after the riots, the "siege mentality" is gone, crime is down significantly and 70% of city residents approve of the department. Many of the officers who had to...

  • Rodney King, 20 years after L.A.'s riots

    Rodney King, 20 years after L.A.'s riots

    On the 20th anniversary of the L.A. riots, the victim of now-fabled LAPD abuse talks about life and its lessons.

  • Koreatown unrest and rebirth

    Koreatown unrest and rebirth

    After the 1992 Los Angeles riots, people said Koreatown, and the dreams riding on it, were over. For years, buildings remained scorched, storefronts stayed shuttered. A crime wave swept through, further rattling nerves. But now there are signs of a new, hip Koreatown. See full story

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