Do you remember the time…

The Rodney King Riots (1992)

The riots began not after the publication of the famous recording of Rodney King’s beating at the hands of white police, but after the trial of the four officers responsible led to them being acquitted of all charges. Rioting began and wouldn’t stop for almost a week, when not only the National Guard but also the Army and Marine Corps were forced to intervene.

The LAPD is the third largest police force in the United States, and yet they found themselves powerless to stop the citywide looting, arson, and general mayhem. By the third day, George H. W. Bush sent in the Army and Marines, boosting the military presence to 13,500 troops. It was this show of force which finally curtailed the anarchy, but it wasn’t until the sixth day that the riot was pronounced over. 53 people had been killed, over 2,000 injured, and over 11,000 arrested. Property damage was estimated at over $1 billion, making it the largest scale American riot since the 1960s and the one with the second worst death toll.