What Happened During the 1992 Riots?

On March 3, 1991, twenty-five-year-old Rodney King was involved in a high speed chase with the Los Angeles Police Dept. Upon catching him, they not only arrested him, but brutally beat him with batons and tasers, resulting in skull fractures and brain damage.

This attack was caught on camera by a bystander, who handed the tape over to the local news station. The nation watched for the result of the Justice system to determine any punishments for the violence by the LAPD officers now that there was clear evidence of police brutality.

On April 29, 1992, the officers were acquitted of their felony charges of excessive force and assault by a jury of ten white men, one 7 This triggered riots across LA. “No Justice, No Peace” was heard in marches through the streets. Businesses were looted, fires were started. The National Guard was called in to help manage the unrest. Approximately $1 billion in damages was incurred as a result of the riots that lasted over five days, and at least sixty people died.


King condemned the violence being done on May 1, asking “can’t we all just get along?” By May 3 things had settled, and by May 4 businesses were reopening.

Unfortunately, as was made very clear in 2020 with the police murders of George Floyd, police brutality against Black people has not been stopped, with over two hundred Black men killed between 2020-2021.

It has been over thirty years of chanting “No Justice, No Peace” in the streets across the nation in response to police brutality of Black people.