25 years ago Los Angeles was burning….
The riots were believed to be the African American community’s reaction to the acquittals of four LAPD officers accused of the brutal beating of Rodney King. There were however several other factors that likely contributed to the uncontrolled outburst of black frustration, among them are the disproportionately high unemployment rate in the African American community and several – not just one! – verdicts which seem to have indicated that violence against blacks wasn’t prosecuted the same way violence against members of other racial groups was.
Justified or not, frustration with hardship and injustice boiled over: there was violence (most notably the vicious assault of Reginald Oliver Denny, a white truck driver), arson and looting. A state of emergency was declared. The situation was beyond Los Angeles Police Department’s capacity to contain. Finally, the California Army National Guard was called in and only then order was restored.
In the aftermath of L.A. Riots: 58 people were dead, over 2,000 injured and more than 11,000 arrested. The estimated property damage topped one billion dollars.
A significant progress was made in the recovery process, but not all issues have been successfully addressed till today’s day.
On the occasion of 25th anniversary of 1992 L.A. Riots Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued the following statement:
“The 1992 unrest was one of the most painful moments in the history of Los Angeles — and today we remember those who perished in the violence, honor the heroes who risked everything to help others survive the chaos, and stand with those whose lives were forever changed by the destruction.
Twenty-five years of healing, reconciliation, and reform have shown the world who Angelenos are: a resilient people who remember our past and never give up hope for the future. That’s why this anniversary is about both how far L.A. has come and how far we have to go. We have made historic and lasting reforms to policing — but are still working to build more trust and transparency, to ensure that no one is deprived of equal justice. We have now recovered and exceeded the number of jobs in the city before the unrest — but we’re still fighting hard against poverty and income inequality, so that no communities are excluded from economic prosperity.
Today, let us recommit ourselves to the work of continuing to build bridges — to opportunity, to equality, and most importantly, to each other.”