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Police Brutality and Racism 23 Years After the LA Riots

Twenty three years ago, the city of Los Angeles erupted following the acquittal of four police officers who were caught visciously beating black motorist, Rodney King.

The incident sparked mass protests which escalated into several days of violence, with 53 people were killed, over 2,000 injured and 11,000 arrested during the unrest. The California Army National Guard, the 7th Infantry Division, and Marines from 1st Marine Division were called in to quell the situation, which also ended in over US$1 Billion in property damages.

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Rodney King is beat by four police officers. He is laying on the ground and is unarmed.
Rodney King is beat by four police officers. He is laying on the ground and is unarmed. Photo:Video Capture
Rodney King, who was stopped while driving his car, was left with devastating injuries.
Rodney King, who was stopped while driving his car, was left with devastating injuries. Photo:Reuters
A man breaks a glass door of the Criminal Courts building in downtown Los Angeles on April 29, 1992, after a jury acquitted four white police officers videotaped in a brutal beating of black motorist Rodney King. Riots broke out throughout Los Angeles hours after the verdict was announced.
A man breaks a glass door of the Criminal Courts building in downtown Los Angeles on April 29, 1992, after a jury acquitted four white police officers videotaped in a brutal beating of black motorist Rodney King. Riots broke out throughout Los Angeles hours after the verdict was announced. Photo:AFP
Protesters upset at the verdict in the Rodney King beating trial demonstrate outside of the Fraternal Order of Police headquarters in Washington D.C. on April 30, 1992
Protesters upset at the verdict in the Rodney King beating trial demonstrate outside of the Fraternal Order of Police headquarters in Washington D.C. on April 30, 1992 Photo:AFP
A police officer responds to a shooting incident as a Korean American business is set ablaze.
A police officer responds to a shooting incident as a Korean American business is set ablaze. Photo:Reuters
Owner of Payless market, throws a bucket of water on the flames at neighboring business Ace Glass during the first night of the Los Angeles Riots.nidos
Owner of Payless market, throws a bucket of water on the flames at neighboring business Ace Glass during the first night of the Los Angeles Riots.nidos Photo:Reuters
A liquor store being raided on May 1, 1992, in Los Angeles.
A liquor store being raided on May 1, 1992, in Los Angeles. Photo:Reuters
Market owner Richard Rhee returns fire as he defends his grocery market during the second day of the riots in Koreatown, Los Angeles.
Market owner Richard Rhee returns fire as he defends his grocery market during the second day of the riots in Koreatown, Los Angeles. Photo:Reuters
National Guardsmen watch a business go up in flames in south Los Angeles on April 30, 1992 after the acquittal of four police officers in the Rodney King beating trial.
National Guardsmen watch a business go up in flames in south Los Angeles on April 30, 1992 after the acquittal of four police officers in the Rodney King beating trial. Photo:AFP
Published 30 April 2015
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