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LA Riots (1991-1993)

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    LA Riots

  • Rodney King beating

    Rodney King beating
    LAPD beat and arrest Rodney King. This was caught on tape by George Holliday and goes viral. King is released 3 days later after the district attorney's office finds there is "not enough evidence to file criminal charges" (Smith 257).
  • Latasha Harlins shooting

    Latasha Harlins shooting
    Latasha Harlines, a 15 year old African American girl, is fatally shot "by Korean-American Soon Ja Du in a South Los Angeles liquor store" (Deavere Smith 257).
  • Commission appointed to investigate the LAPD

    Commission appointed to investigate the LAPD
    Throughout the spring and summer of 1991 the department is investigated. Police Chief Daryl Gates is placed on leave, then reinstated by the city council. The investigation recommends Gates and the entire Police Commission step down, and Gates eventually announces his plan to retire in 1992.
  • King trial moved out of LA

    King trial moved out of LA
    The trial is eventually moved to Simi Valley. CA Map: LA and Simi Valley
  • Soon Ja Du sentenced

    Soon Ja Du sentenced
    Soon Ja Du is found guilty of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to "five years probation, four hundred hours of community service, and a five-hundred-dollar fine for the shooting death of Latasha Harlins. State Senator Diane Watson said, 'This might be the time bomb that explodes.'"
  • Fatal LAPD shooting in Watts

    Fatal LAPD shooting in Watts
    LAPD officers fatally shot an African American man in a Watts housing project, "prompting a standoff with more than one hundred residents" (Deavere Smith 259).
  • Verdict in the King beating

    Verdict in the King beating
    The jury on the Rodney King trial "retunrs not-guilty verdicts on all charges except one count of excessive force" against the 4 officers involved in the beating, and "over two thousand people gather for a peacful rally at First AME Church in South-Central Los Angeles" (Deavere Smith 260).
  • Violence errupts (Riots Day 1)

    Violence errupts (Riots Day 1)
    " Police dispatches relay reports of head wounds, vandalism, and burglary in an ever-widening radius." A local emergency is declared, the National Gaurd is called in and "fires break out over twenty-five blocks of central Los Angeles" (Deveare Smith 260).
  • Reginald Denny beating (Riots Day 1)

    Reginald Denny beating (Riots Day 1)
    "Reginald Denny [a truck driver] is yanked from his truck cab and beaten uncoscious at the intersection of Florence and Normandie" and the event is captured live by a news helicopter. The four young men involved will come to be known as the "LA Four."
  • Violence countinues (Riots Day 2)

    Violence countinues (Riots Day 2)
    Mayor of LA (Bradley) "imposes a curfew for the entire city, restricts the sale of gasoline, and bans the sale of ammunition... Retail outlets are looted and/or burned in South Los Angeles, Koreatown, Hollywood, Mid-Wilshire, Watts, Westwood, Beverly Hills, Compton, Culver City, Hawthorne, Long Beach, Norwalk and Pomona" (Deavere Smith 261).
  • Peace Rally (Riots Day 3)

    Peace Rally (Riots Day 3)
    "More than a thousand Korean-Americans and others gather at a peace rally at Western Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard" (Deavere Smith 261).
  • Clean-up begins

    Clean-up begins
    "[C]rews hit the streets and volunteers truck food and clothing into the hardest hit neighborhoods. Thirty thousand people march through Koreatown in support of beleaguered merchants, calling for peace between Korean-Americans and blacks... President Bush [senior] declares Los Angeles a disaster area" (Deavere Smith 261).
    The following day, "The LA Times reports 58 deaths; 2,383 injuries; more than 7,000 fire responses; 12,111 arrests; 3,100 businesses damaged" (Deavere Smith 261).
  • Gang truce

    Gang truce
    "The Crips and Bloods (the two major gangs in Los Angeles) announce plans for a truce" (Deavere Smith 262).
  • The LA Four arrested

    The LA Four arrested
    "Damian Williams, Antoine Miller, and Henry K. Watson are arrested for the beating of Reginald Denny on April 29. Gary Williams surrenders to police later that day. They quickly become known as the LA Four" (Deavere Smith 262). A few days later they are "arraigned on thrity-three charges for offenses against thirteen motorists," including Reginald Denny. Bail is set for between $250,000 and $580,000 for each; none post bail (Deavere Smith 262).
  • Trial for Compton police officer shooting

    Trial for Compton police officer shooting
    The case of a "Compton police officer accused of fatally shooting two Samoan brothers a total of nineteen times" was declared a mistrial after "the jury was deadlocked nine to three in favor of acquittal" (Deavere Smith 262).
  • Black-Korean Alliance formed

    Black-Korean Alliance formed
    "Korean grocers and leaders from the Bloods and Crips meet to discuss an alliance" (Deavere Smith 263).
  • Black-Korean Alliance disbanded

    Black-Korean Alliance disbanded
    Members of the alliance voted to disband.
  • Free the LA Four Defense Committee protest

    Free the LA Four Defense Committee protest
    A group developed in support of the LA Four protest at Florence and Normandie, the site of the Denny beating.
  • Rodney King federal civial rights trial begins

    Rodney King federal civial rights trial begins
    Although found not-guilty in the State Court of Appeal, a federal case is reopened to determine if King's civil rights were violated
  • King civil rights trial verdict

    King civil rights trial verdict
    Officers Briseno and Wind are acquitted while Powell and Sergeant Koon are found guilty. Powell and Koon are later sentenced to thirty months in prison.
  • The LA Four verdicts

    The LA Four verdicts
    Williams and Watson are acquitted of many of the charges against them. Williams will later be "sentenced to a maximum of ten years in prison for attacks on Reginald Denny" (Devear Smith 265).