Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Today In History: Burn, baby, burn.

On this date in 1992, following the announcement of the verdict in the trial of the LAPD officers who put a beat down on Rodney King, Los Angeles burned. Well, actually only parts of it did. Mostly just the parts where the mob doing the burning lived, really.

In Atlanta, we had sort of a riot-ette. I rode around in it in a friend's car and we took photos all night.

9 comments:

staghounds said...

I was out that night with my police officers- luckily no problems.

I wonder if Senator Obama's ambitions are denied will there be riots?

Mattexian said...

Well, Staghounds, I've thought out loud that I'm not worried about Sen. Clinton's supporter rioting in the streets if she is the Dem's candidate but doesn't win the general election.

Matt G said...

I have never understood mobs, or the people of El Lay. Thus, when speaking of Watts or Compton, I don't understand anything at all. I watched the video of the things that happened there, and thought alternately "Marshal law should be imposed, and people on the street should be shot on sight," and "Why the hell should we do anything to save that cursed place?"

People were making it about race.

Hint: it wasn't about race.

Billy Hollis said...

By random chance I was in LA for a conference that very day. Still being on central time internally, I went to bed early and missed the riots. When I saw the TV reports, I went to the window and saw smoke covering much of the horizon to the north (I was in Orange County).

The thing that stuck with me is how different the local coverage and the national coverage were. The locals talked to the Oriental shop keepers that defended their shops all night, and showed the walking their roofs with shotguns. They showed lots of black looters and the trashed shops, and extensively covered the incident where the poor truck driver was pulled out of his vehicle while stopped at an intersection and almost beaten to death. The nationals mentioned such incidents briefly, and seemed singularly uninterested in going to the actual scenes and finding out what really happened.

Lergnom said...

If anything at all good came out of that period, it was the wake-up call to the Beautiful People who voted more and more gun control and didn't think that kind of excitement could ever come down their street, but when it started, thought they would just pop 'round to the gunstore and pick up something just in case.

"Fifteen day waiting period? That's absurd. We need these now!"

Kristopher said...

The nationals decided that they didn't want to be responsible for the rioting spreading to more cities ...

A very rare case of restraint by the media.

About two hours into the coverage, the big networks clamped down, and started running business as usual reporting only.

Anonymous said...

My dad was in the Army for 20 years. That day was the only time in his career where he heard the order, "Lock and load."

In defending this country for two decades, the only time he saw his men being shot at was in Los Angeles that day, and the 12 days that followed. I'll never forget.

Dave said...

Mostly just the parts where the mob doing the burning lived, really.

Also, more specifically, the parts that were occupied with (well-armed) Korean businessmen were pretty much left alone.

I don't recall myself, but dad says he remembers a picture on the front page of the Washington Post of a Korean man with an AR of some sort, and the story pointing out that his neighborhood was left alone.

Will said...

Shortly afterward, I was talking with a gun show vendor who had been there. The nations biggest gun show was held near there (Great Western Gun Show?). Something like 8 miles of tables. He said that a lot of out of town vendors were in a hotel where they could see the goings on right outside. They started swapping guns and ammo around to get everyone armed, and thought that for that night it was the most heavily armed location in the LA area. He claimed that the police left a body laying in the middle of the intersection most of the night, and thought that might have had a sobering effect on groups passing by. Gun show was canceled the next day, probably by orders of the city to the promoters. The city also banned all ammo and gun sales and even banned gun pick-ups of people that had waited the required time after buying one.