"To get some respect, we had to tear this mothafucka up" - Ice Cube, "We Had To Tear This Mothafucka Up," 1992
On April 29, 1992, all four LAPD officers involved in the videotaped beating of Rodney King were acquitted. Outraged, the public responded with six days of violent anarchy. There was widespread looting, most of which took place in South Central, where assault, arson, and robbery reached unbelievable levels. When the smoke cleared, $1 billion worth of damage had been done.
While King's beating and the subsequent acquittals were triggers for the unrest, they certainly were not the sole factors. Rampant inner-city inequalities like poverty, segregation, lack of educational and employment opportunities, and police abuse all contributed. As Cube explained on his post-riot LP The Predator, things had been ugly in the City of Angels for a while, but the Rodney King trial was the point of no return.
Today marks the 20th anniversary of the Los Angeles riots. Revisit one of recent history's most unforgettable moments with these stunning images.
Written by Julian Kimble (@JRK316).