Many people of today's society believe that riots and protests initiated by black people in America came about in the early 90's around the time of the 1992 Los Angeles riots stemmed from the acquittal of four white Los Angeles Police Department in the beating of black motorist Rodney King in 1991 (cnn.com). Although that story brought major attention to police brutality in America there were many other significant riots that have taken place in American history. In August of 1965 the essential although easily overlooked Watts Riot took place in Watt, Los Angeles California. After a white police officer pulled over a black man and had him arrested and his car impounded because he assumed he was under the influence, a crowd of angry and confused
Though sparked by the Rodney King verdict, there were many other causes of the riots that erupted on the streets of Los Angeles on April 29, 1992. The Los Angeles riots in 1992 were devastating. The obvious issue portrayed through the media was black versus white. If you did not live in Los Angeles or California chances are you did not hear full coverage of the story, you heard a simple cut and dry portrayal of the events in South Central. If you heard one thing about the riots, it was that there was a man named Rodney King and he was a black male beaten with excessive force by four white Los Angeles police officers on Los Angeles concrete. The media portrayed the riots as black rage on the streets due to the
African Americans in Los Angeles and throughout the United States have experienced racial oppression for centuries. (Background about racial oppression by the LAPD). Rodney King was an African American motorist who inspired positive police reforms after he had a brutal conflict and was beaten by four members of the LAPD. Rodney King’s encounter resulted in a social and legal compromise because the incident made people aware of police brutality, gave African Americans a voice against police abuse, and resulted in reforms to the way that the LAPD responds to communities of color.
On April 29, 1992, the City of Los Angeles was surrounded in a riot in response to the "not guilty" verdicts in the trial of four white Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers accused of unlawfully beating Rodney King. Six days later, when the fires were finally extinguished and the smoke had cleared, "estimates of the material damage done vary between about $800 million and $1 billion, 54 people had been killed, more than 2000 injured, in excess of 800 structures were burned, and about 10,000 people were arrested."(Khalifah 89) The 1992 riots in the City of Los Angeles were arguably the most devastating civil disturbance in the history of the United States.
The Watts riots began in the summer of 1965, in a city in Los Angeles called Watts. It all began with the arrest of a young African American by a white California Highway Patrol officer. Now, it was not because he was arrested for already doing something illegal, it was for the way the police officer treated the individual. According to Lacine Holland, an eyewitness to the arrest, the officer “took him and threw him in the car like a bag of laundry and kicked his feet in and slammed the door.” (Flournoy) This caused lots of unrest among the fellow residents of Watts. This was just the beginning of years of pent up oppression for the minorities, which participated in the event. Similarly, in 1992, the Rodney King riots also arose due to the acquittal of four Los Angeles Police Department officers for their brutal beating
The history of African-Americans in the United States is full of many periods of achievements, as well as periods of struggle. The Los Angeles riots of 1992 were the result of many years of systematic racism in the United States following the Civil Rights Movement. The beating and unjust trial of Rodney King exposed the unfair and brutal treatment of African Americans by the police. As well as the shooting of 15 year-old Latasha Harlins 2 weeks after the beating of Rodney King to further ignite hatred within African-Americans in Los Angeles. What came forth was a week long riot not only changed Los Angeles, but the United States. That is why the Los Angeles riots was the most devastating, yet consequential, civil uproar in the history of the United States.
We are fools to think racism is something of the past. Racism is very much alive in this century as it was in the last century. The Rodney King trial and verdict will forever be identified as a moment in recent history that outraged the diverse residents of Los Angeles County and the rest of America. Not only did it expose the police brutality African Americans endure, but it showed the discrimination of a jury mostly made of white people. My family lived in Los Angeles during the late 80’s and into the 90’s, and they still remember how dangerous walking in the streets was during those years. The police did not only discriminate African Americans, they also victimized Mexican Americans. The Rodney King trial and verdict of 1992 generated riots across Los Angeles after four police officers accused of beating King were acquitted. The verdict revealed the unjust racial treatment towards African Americans and it became a symbol of police brutality and injustice that is still seen today.
Even though the L.A. Riots affected black americans, it also affected korean immigrants and americans. Some of the riots took place in Koreatown and Richard Rhee, a man that was involved in the riots, was interviewed about what has the riots done to the korean community. Richard Rhee knew and saw other korean stores being vandalized during the L.A. riots. Rhee had guns ready for the onslaught of rioters and many koreans had shotguns. Koreans made their stores into fortresses against the rioters and they knew the police cannot help them. The attacks on Koreatown would continue for the whole riot ordel. There were many of evenings were korean americans had to defend their stores from rioters. Protecting their shops and their families from the dangers of the rioters. During and after the riots, the korean community and the black community would have a racial tensions for a few decades. But recently, the tensions have been dropped after a few decade years.
The 1991 Rodney King beating was one of the most significant events of the late twentieth century when considering the tension between African Americans and white police officers in the last two centuries. It seemed that the beating and the effect that it had on the world as a whole embodied society's feelings concerning the idea of discrimination. The fact that Rodney King was African American and that white police officers used unnecessary force when trying to apprehend him made it possible for people to understand that even though the social order had experienced important progress in recent years, the race matter continued to be divisive.
Race relation between blacks and Latinos were terrible following the riots. However, since the riots racial tensions have been easing, “46% described race relations as good” (Grad), both blacks and Latinos agree that racial relations have improved since the riots. This is a huge step in the right direction, during the riots racial tensions between blacks, Latinos, and the Asian were at an all-time hi. This was caused by the jury that was on King's case; consisting of, “10 whites, a Hispanic, and an Asian” (Wallenfeldt), no African-American jury members. This caused for most of the South Central Los Angeles black community to keep a deep anger towards whites, especially white police officers. Even though now in day things have gotten better, the police are far from having a perfect relationship with black and Latino
The Los Angeles riots of 1992 was one of the largest scale riots in American history. Though the riots started just hours after the infamous not guilty verdict in the Rodney King trial, there were many factors that contributed to the anarchy created by certain members of the Los Angeles community. The media’s coverage of the trial and riots focused on the concept that the black community had reached their boiling point, and was now rebelling in protest of police brutality against them. News broadcasts selectively displayed images of blacks mobbing, looting, and terrorizing Korean-owned businesses, while giving little justification for
On April 29, 1992, the City of Los Angeles was surrounded in a riot in response to the "not guilty" verdicts in the trial of four white Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers accused of unlawfully beating Rodney King. Six days later, when the fires were finally extinguished and the smoke had cleared, “estimates of the material damage done vary between about $800 million and $1 billion, 54 people had been killed, more than 2000 injured, in excess of 800 structures were burned, and about 10,000 people were arrested.”(Khalifah 89) The 1992 riots in the City of Los Angeles were arguably the most devastating civil disturbance in the history of the United States.
This paper will cover the events that took place within the first five days in south central Los Angeles after the Rodney King verdict .
In 1992, a series of riots broke out in the city of Los Angeles. After footage of four police officers using excessive force on an African American man, Rodney King, a jury acquitted the four officers of their wrongdoing. The verdict sparked an outrage in the city, the incident was not the only point which played a role in the riots. However, after Latasha Harlins, a 15-year-old girl, was shot in the back of the head by a store owner. As a result, the people of Los Angeles responded in anger over how African Americans were being treated by other races. The Rodney King verdict can be considered as the start of the riots instead of Latasha Harlins’ murder because it remained in the hands of the police, consisted of a large group of White American men, which displays an abuse of power in the race.
Police brutality against African Americans was a huge impact in Los Angeles, California in 1991, and continues to be a problematic situation in America today. On March 3, 1991, a group of white LAPD beat Rodney King. After this incident occurred a lot of negative events started to transpire. A lot of African Americans were angry and demanded justice. The relationship between the LAPD and the Los Angeles community in 1991 were horrific and still continues to be awful today. Police brutality just seems to be increasing more overtime, which means the increase in the community not trusting the police. Police brutality can be a huge disadvantage when it comes to community policing.