Published: Mon, May 01, 2017
Culture | By Henry Herrera

LA peace parades mark 25th anniversary of Rodney King riots

LA peace parades mark 25th anniversary of Rodney King riots

"But I feel like our resilience pushes us through".

Hundreds of people, including City Hall employees and schoolchildren, took part in the event Friday, the eve of the anniversary.

- April 29, 1992 - After seven days of deliberations, jurors acquit the officers of nearly all charges, deadlocking on one assault count involving Powell.

But to 12 jurors in Simi Valley, the officers were innocent of wrongdoing and allowed to walk free.

The infamous Rodney King incident of 1991 sparked national outrage and led to much literature being produced to aid in educating those about the beating, the trial, the rioting that ensued, and the meaning of it all. Reginald Denny, a white truck driver, is pulled from his truck and beaten. The LAPD was nowhere in sight, sending a message to anyone considering joining the lawlessness that it was open season and that the cops were not going to try to stop it.

In the years since then, there has been significant improvement in the relationship between the LAPD and minority communities in the city. The riots killed more than 50 people and caused some US$1 billion (RM4.34 billion) in damage over six days.

The riot's second night coincided with the finale of "The Cosby Show", the long running sitcom about an upper middle class black family that became for several seasons the most watched show in the nation.

The scene at the corner of Florence and Normandie turned into an "Armageddon" of violence. Indeed, Ridley acknowledges that there have been "positive changes" in the LAPD since the riots. Police chiefs were given term limits.

However, with justice not seen to be served, large scale rioting ensued.

A mural in the Jefferson Park area of South Los Angeles depicts police brutality against African Americans.

"What do you think has changed?"

Crime and unemployment have also plunged since the riots, but troubling signs still remain.

Almost six out of 10 residents said another riot like that of 1992 was likely to erupt within five years - 11 percentage points more than five years ago.

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Meanwhile, Arguello, who immigrated from Nicaragua in about 1963, said some of her earliest memories in the US were of the 1965 Watts riots.

Studies over the past few years have also found that L.A.is one of the least affordable major cities in the country, with rent prices that are sky- rocketing due to a housing shortage.

The L.A. riots would be the the most deadly and costly period of civil unrest in American history.

-Among white residents, 69 percent said the LAPD would do what's right.

"It's the same people though, 30 or 40 people", Beck said.

"A lot has improved", Gilbert said. Burning: The Riots 25 Years Later.

Martin says LA 92's footage will cast the actions of shop-owners - some of whom picked up baseball bats and other weapons to defend themselves - in a different light.

"Out of the ashes of what came to be known as the L.A. Uprising, rose a new cadre of multi-racial grassroots organizations committed to amplifying the perspectives and experiences of South L.A. residents and transforming the institutions that had left South L.A. communities behind", SCOPE said in a statement.

In one sense, the data tell us something we already knew in Los Angeles, said Brianne Gilbert, associate director of the center.

LATE IN THE afternoon of April 29, 1992, the looting began in south Los Angeles, quickly escalating as motorists were dragged from their cars and vehicles set alight.

Now, when 25 years have passed since the tragic events of 1992 Riots, it's hard to imagine that journalists and photographers literally risked their lives to keep those moments for the future.

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