When: April 29-May 4, 1992

Where: Los Angeles, California

On March 3, 1991, Rodney King’s beating at the hands of LAPD Police Officers was captured on film and shared globally. The beating took place after a high speed chase and resulted in King experiencing broken bones, teeth, a fractured skull and long term brain injuries. The four officers who were caught on camera beating him were charged but then acquitted in April 1992 which sparked the LA Riots as Black and Latino communities showed their fury of experiencing years of economic and racial inequality in the city and a consistently poor relationship with the LAPD. The riots lasted almost a week and sparked conversations that are still ongoing about police brutality.

Years later, King published The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption, his autobiography that detailed his life as a civil rights icon after his experience with the LAPD.

Further Reading:

Afary, Kamran. Performance and Activism Grass Roots Discourse after the Los Angeles Rebellion of 1992. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2009.

Gale, Dennis E. Understanding Urban Unrest: From Reverend King to Rodney King. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 1996.

Hunt, Darnell M. Screening the Los Angeles “Riots”: Race, Seeing, and Resistance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Katz, Jack. “Culture within and Culture About Crime: The Case of the ‘Rodney King Riots’.” Crime, Media, Culture 12, no. 2 (2016): 233-251.

Stevenson, Brenda E. The Contested Murder of Latasha Harlins: Justice, Gender, and the Origins of the LA Riots. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.