Flashpoint
10 Images

Watts Riots, 40 Years Later

Flashpoint
Tommy Jacquette, executive of the Watts Summer Festival, at 116th Street and Avalon, where Lee W. Minikus arrested Marquette Frye on Aug. 11, 1965. (Gary Friedman / LAT)
National Guard
Troops secure a stretch of 103rd Street at Compton Avenue, nicknamed “Charcoal Alley” because of all the burned buildings. After the violence, 34 people, 25 of them black, were dead and more than 1,000 were injured. (John Malmin / LAT)
Officer
Lee W. Minikus says of Frye: “My friend Marquette passed away. We kept in touch off and on.” (Kevin P. Casey / For The Times)
Arrested
Marquette Frye, right, whose arrest touched off the Watts riots, with mother, Rena Price, and her stepson Ronald, view state Senate hearing in the case with attorneys Stanley R. Malone, left, and A.L. Wirin. (LAT)
Devastation
More than 600 buildings were damaged or destroyed. Thriving business districts, their stores mostly white-owned, were burned to the ground. (LAT)
Looting
Comedian and activist Dick Gregory, right, watches as looters take lamps from a furniture store on 103rd Street. (Webster Thompson)
LAPD
Police officers stand guard at Avalon Boulevard and Imperial Highway. Retired Officer Joe Rouzan says that after the death of Police Chief William Parker: “When the new chiefs came in, they all gave a push to community relations.” (LAT)
Witness
Victoria Brown Davis waits for a bus at 103rd Street and Compton Avenue. “I wouldn’t want to live through anything like that again,” she says. (Gary Friedman / LAT)
Guardsman
Bob Hipolito was featured in John Malmin’s famed photo of the riot. “We were only trained for combat, not civil disobedience,” he says. (Gary Friedman / LAT)
Reporter
Betty Pleasant covered the riots for the Los Angeles Sentinel. “On the corner of 92nd and Wilmington, was a very small, tiny grocery store owned by an elderly black couple. Their store was untouched, because word went around not to touch this one because it was black-owned,” she says. (Gary Friedman / LAT)
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