1992 Los Angeles Riots

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1,186. 1,186 is the number of people killed by police in 2015 (Petrohilos, 2015). In 1991, Rodney King could’ve been one of those numbers, with the perpetrators getting off scot-free. The acquittal of the four officers who brutally attacked Rodney King was an outrage to the American people as well as being the catalyst for the 1992 Los Angeles Riots.
Rodney King was driving one night when he was pulled over and beaten by police. Upwards of one-hundred miles per hour, Rodney King’s car was zipping down San Fernando’s Foothill Freeway. When California Highway Patrol officers sighted the events, it was in the early hours of March 3, 1991. King was tased by Sgt. Stacey Koon as a result of dismissing detainment attempts by police, after the
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Four authorities were charged with assault with a deadly weapon: Timothy Wind, Officer Laurence Powell, Sgt. Stacey Koon, and Officer Theodore Briseno. The four officers were excused of the allegations on April 29, 1992, and the jury voted 8-4 to excuse Laurence Powell for “assault under color of authority”. Even President George Bush thought that the video evidence was enough to prove the officers guilty. He agrees with almost 100% of black Americans and 86% of white Americans (Bornstein, 1993). After the verdict was announced, protests began. They started peaceful, but they became violent after law enforcement started pushing them west after someone ignited a kiosk. The mob was burning palm trees on the Hollywood freeway and were smashing windows on the way to City Hall. A small group of male protesters left a convenience store with stolen beer. The owner tried stopping them, and in turn they stated “this is for Rodney King” (Gerdes, …show more content…
At 5:30 pm on April 29, 1992, a mob of people started chucking bottles and rocks at cars going by. This was just a few hours after the “not guilty” verdict was reached in the Rodney King case and is the beginning of the 1992 LA riots. Governor Pete Wilson brought in the National Guard and the Los Angeles Mayor declared a State of a Emergency (Cole, 1999). Among the first murders of the LA riots were Matthew Haines, Dwight Taylor and Elbert. They were all killed by gunfire (Gerdes, 2014). Rodney King even weighed in and showed disapproval for the 5-day long riots begging , “Can we all get along?” (Cole,

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