back to top

Today Is The 23rd Anniversary Of The Los Angeles Riots

The L.A. riots turn 23 years old as tensions in Baltimore continue to build over the issue of police brutality.

Posted on

The city of Los Angeles erupted in riots on April 29, 1992, after four officers were acquitted of charges surrounding their beating of motorist of Rodney King.

Kevork Djansezian / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Los Angeles police officer Theodore Briseno defends his actions in the assault on motorist Rodney King during court testimony in Simi Valley, California, April 3, 1992. A scene from the video of the assault is shown at left.

King’s beating was caught on videotape. The officers were acquitted of charges of assault and excessive force. The acquittal was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back in Los Angeles, where racial tensions had been boiling over.

David Longstreath / AP

King, right, is accompanied by his attorney Steven Lerman, pleading for an end to the rioting and famously asking, "Can't we all just get along?"

AFP / Getty Images

Part of a group of about 100 protesters gather outside the East County Courthouse, May 5, 1992, in Simi Valley, to protest the verdict in the trial of the four police officers who were acquitted in the Rodney King case.

John Gaps Iii / AP

A Los Angeles police officer holds a shotgun on two looting suspects as a California State Police officer puts handcuffs on them near Martin Luther King Blvd. and Vermont Ave. in South Central Los Angeles.

Twenty-three years later, many of the same tensions persist all over the country.


A cross, flowers, and a banner urging an end to violence adorn the ruins of a service station at Florence and Normandie Avenues in South Central Los Angeles, May 3, 1992.