Los Angeles Riots 1992

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“54 deaths, more than 2,000 injured, 3,600 fires, 1,100 buildings destroyed, 4,500 businesses looted, more than 12,000 arrests and around $1 billion in total damage to the city”. These were the consequences of one of the most devastating riots in American history - the Los Angeles Riots of 1992. These riots were fueled by decades of rage from L.A.’s African-American community, but the main catalyst was the unfair acquittal of four white police officers who had beat an African-American man nearly to death. Around midnight on March 3rd, 1991, Los Angeles police officers caught motorist Rodney King wildly drunk driving; his blood alcohol level was two times the legal limit. 15 officers chased King for 7.8 miles until finally catching him. Then,…show more content…
was enraged. It was not just because of the clearly unjust verdict that they decided to release all of their anger in riots; the fury was fueled by decades of racism and police brutality as well as daily struggles of ghetto life: poverty, family issues, gangs, and drugs, among numerous others. Over the years, all of these issues accumulated on the community’s psyche. As a result, they were already on edge during King’s beating. After the verdict, they began a series of riots which lasted five days. Shortly after the verdict had been released, the first riot began in the intersection between Florence and Normandie avenues. Company and supermarket buildings were looted and set on fire. Hardly any light-skinned people could pass through the mob of 100 African Americans without being attacked. Only around 12 people in the mob were throwing rocks and shouting racial slurs - everyone else was cheering them on or simply watching. Eventually, the mob grew to around 200 people, all fueled by revenge and free alcohol looted from a nearby alcohol store. Then, a white man named Reginald Denny drove through the intersection. A small group of African-American men pulled him out of his truck and began beating him nearly to death. After the attack, one man threw his arms up and did a dance of celebration. Denny hence became a symbol of vengeance for the beating of Rodney King. By the first night of the rioting, over 150 shops were in flames, ten people…show more content…
riots will always be remembered not only by the residents who lived in the city during the time but also all victims of racism. King’s beating shocked the nation with the violence of police brutality and the riots proved that it leads to dire consequences. Nevertheless, people today can learn that being prejudiced against one another will ultimately result in destruction to both sides.For instance, in 2013, the movement “Black Lives Matter” began as a fight for equality and ending police brutality. It helped inspire the fight against prejudices, especially after George Zimmerman’s trial in 2012 when he was found not guilty of killing 17 year old Trayvon Martin. This outraged many people, especially African Americans, causing multiple protests around the country. Activist Alicia Garza expressed her anger via Facebook using the hashtag BlackLivesMatter. Many activists also followed the hashtag, but it didn’t receive much attention until 2014 - when there were multiple incidents between police officers and African Americans. One of many is the Ferguson Unrest, which was ignited by the shooting of an unarmed teenager named Michael Brown on August 9, 2014. A white police officer shot Brown to death but was given a highly controversial verdict of “not guilty” by a grand jury. Furious citizens began rioting and protesting for weeks in the area. In attempts to calm the violence, officers used tear gas and rubber bullets on protesters who, in turn, threw bottles

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