The Los Angeles Riots of 1992
The Los Angeles riots were a release of pressure that had build up from the innocent charging of Officer Laurence M. Powell and other Police officers that "Used excessive force" on Rodney King on March 3, 1991, but that was not the only reason.(8) In the words of a singer singing about the riots "They said it was for the black man, they said it was for the Mexican, but not for the white man, but if you look at the streets it wasn't about Rodney King, It's bout this f****d up situation and the f****n' police."(9) Did the riots even have anything to do with King? Was King a minor reason for this to happen, or did King put the level of pressure right over the top? Whatever way you see it, the fact is that on April 29, 1992, anarchy was set free in Los Angeles and before the papers could write about the happenings in this city of angels, the writing on the walls could tell it all.
Reginald Denny, a truck driver that was driving through the area of hate, stopped his truck and was pulled from his seat only to be beaten by a group of African Americans, was smiled at for his stupidity. Did Reginald Denny deserve to be beaten as much as King did? Many people that participated in the riot believed so, even though those were the same people that felt that that King was wrongly treated. Was this feeling of revenge produced by racism or fair 'take a hit, leave a hit' that would be forgotten once the pain was the same for everyone? Unfortunately, revenge never finds its own way to normal, humankind always wants to be 'one up' on the competition. The system of LA seemed to be falling apart at the thought of "Blacks" getting unfair treatment under the same conditions. The fact that "Blacks" were the ones that put him into the hospital did not make Physicians Madison Richardson and Lawrence Goodwin slow on their efforts to reconstruct Denny's skull, face bone fractures and eye injuries.(3)
The Nike store in West Hollywood lost around 25,000 from being closed and for being a target for looters, but this was nothing compared to the $1.2 billion in damage claims of the Oakland Hills fire. Worst hit LA areas include Hollywood, Koreatown, and the Crenshaw District, but San Francisco and Atlanta were also hurt from mass rioting, maybe caused by the same reason, or maybe caused because everyone had a reason.(6) Should anyone be held responsible for what happened? Of course not, a city can't charge so many people of such a thing, but no one that was economically hurt will forget.
The rioters were responsible for destroying two bookstores and a library. The Aquarian Bookshop was possibly the oldest black-owned bookshop in the U.S.. At the corner of Martin Luther King Blvd. and S. Western Ave. the Pathfinder Press's building was burnt down to the ground. Specializing in black studies and known for its publishing's of the famous Malcolm X, Che Guevara and even Nelson Mandela, its being well known was the reason for thousands of...