Also known as the Rodney King riots, the South Central riots, the 1992 Los Angeles civil disturbance, the 1992 Los Angeles civil unrest, and the Los Angeles uprising, the LA riots consisted of six days of looting, arson, attacks, protests, and killings. Damages in excess of a billion dollars, more than 11,000 arrested, over 50 murders and 2,000+ people were injured over the course of the disturbances before the CA Army National Guard, 7th Infantry Division, and 1st Marine Division were called in to put an end to the upheaval.
At 4:58 pm, Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley held a news conference to discuss the verdicts handed down for the four LAPD police officers. Incensed, his statement showed both anger toward the verdicts and made an appeal for calm.
Today, the jury told the world that what we all saw with our own eyes was not a crime. My friends, I am here to tell the jury…what we saw was a crime. No, we will not tolerate the savage beating of our citizens by a few renegade cops...We must not endanger the reforms we have achieved by resorting to mindless acts. We must not push back progress by striking back blindly. – Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, post verdict press conference
Assistant Los Angeles police chief Bob Vernon believed Bradley’s opening remarks invited a riot, and were perhaps taken as a signal by some citizens to act in violence. Vernon backed this statement with the assertion that the number of police incidents rose in the hour after the mayor’s press conference. – Wikipedia
Having resided my entire life in the Deep South, and mainly my home state, I had ideas about other regions that have since been dispelled, and my belief that California was one big happy utopia where color was not an issue as it is here in Dixie Land was dashed away forever by the senseless beating of Rodney King and the outrage that exploded after the acquittal of those four White officers.
Horrible race relations in the City of Angels? It wasn’t just LA in 1992, it was all over the US and it is even more significant these days, with cities such as Flint, Atlanta, Charlotte, Baton Rouge, St. Paul and of course, Ferguson in the news with Black Lives Matter protesters joined by people of various races and ethnicities after police gunned down unarmed Black men in those areas. In LA currently, race relations may have improved but there is still some tension between Black and Latino residents of South Los Angeles (once known as South Central) and the police. That will never go away given the history of law enforcement in America: police officers have long had ties with White supremacist groups like the Ku Klux Klan. This is a documented fact.
A federal judge in 1991 described a clique of deputies at the Lynwood Sheriff’s station in Los Angeles as a “neo-Nazi, white supremacist gang.” The judge’s finding came after more than 70 Lynwood residents filed a lawsuit alleging deputies engaged “in systematic acts of shooting, killing, brutality, terrorism, house-trashing and other acts of lawlessness and wanton abuse of power,” especially against Latinos and blacks, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Sometimes I wonder if White people have any type of humanity whatsoever. It’s like they can do evil towards anyone who is not like they are and feel zero guilt – such as the Nazis’ attitudes as far as the Jews. How can you call yourself a human being yet behave so wickedly with those you do not like? I don’t care much for people but I am not going to kill any! I would suffer from tremendous guilt if I ever were to take someone else’s life – except a child killer, of course.
In 2015, the LAPD had 48 officer-involved-shootings – more than New York City, Houston, or Philadelphia, and 18 more than the year before. Twenty-one of those hit by police gunfire died. “Right now, the police are out of control,” said retired LAPD Lt. Michael Moulin. “Instead of hurting people, we’re now killing them.” Moulin was commanding forces in South L.A. when the riot began, and was publicly blamed for the department’s retreat by discredited LAPD Chief Daryl Gates. But he’s convinced the death toll would have been much higher if his officers — unprepared and underequipped — had tried to contain the angry mobs. “We are just a click away from some very terrible unrest in this country,” Moulin said. “I don’t think we’ve learned anything in 25 years.”