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1992 Los Angeles riots facts for kids

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1992 Los Angeles riots
Two National Guard soldiers patrolling the city during the riots
Date April 29 – May 4, 1992
Caused by
  • Four policemen acquitted of beating Rodney King
  • Killing of Latasha Harlins
  • Racial tension within Los Angeles
Methods Widespread rioting, looting, assault, arson, protests, property damage, shootouts
Parties to the civil conflict
Rioters and looters, primarily from African American and Latino communities.
Armed civilians, notably from Korean American communities, defending property from rioters and looters.
Death(s) 63
Injuries 2,383
Arrested 12,111

The 1992 Los Angeles riots were a series of riots and civil disturbances that occurred in Los Angeles County in April and May 1992. Unrest began in South Central Los Angeles on April 29, after a trial jury acquitted four officers of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) for usage of excessive force in the arrest and beating of Rodney King, which had been videotaped and widely viewed in TV broadcasts.

The rioting took place in several areas in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, as thousands of people rioted over a six-day period following the announcement of the verdict. Widespread looting, assault, and arson occurred during the riots, which local police forces had difficulty controlling due to lack of personnel and resources. The situation in the Los Angeles area was only resolved after the California National Guard, the United States military, and several federal law enforcement agencies were deployed to assist in ending the violence and unrest.

By the time the riots ended, 63 people had been killed, 2,383 had been injured, more than 12,000 had been arrested, and estimates of property damage were over $1 billion, much of which disproportionately affected Koreatown, where the bulk of rioting occurred. LAPD Chief of Police Daryl Gates, who had already announced his resignation by the time of the riots, was attributed with much of the blame for failure to de-escalate the situation and overall mismanagement.

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