BLACK VOICES

Remembering The 1992 LA Riots Over 2 Decades Later

A woman yells at Los Angeles police officers who stand guard outside a shopping center, 30 April 1992, in Los Angeles. The ac
A woman yells at Los Angeles police officers who stand guard outside a shopping center, 30 April 1992, in Los Angeles. The acquittal of four police officers in the beating of Rodney King led to widespread anger and rioting. (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

Freddie Gray, 25, died earlier this month while in police custody due to injuries he sustained during an arrest. His passing prompted protest against police brutality in his home city of Baltimore, where unrest exploded into structure fires and looting Monday night. But Baltimore isn't the only American city that's seen violent April riots.

Twenty-three years ago, the streets of South Los Angeles also broke into chaos. April 29, 1992 was the day an LA court announced a not-guilty verdict for four officers who had been on trial for the brutal beating of Rodney King -- an incident that was caught on film.

Also captured on video was the rampant violence that followed news of the verdict. The city would descend into what reporter Linda Deutsch remembers as a "war zone." Over four days, 53 people died, thousands more were injured and many more were arrested as fires burned throughout the city.

Not to mention a billion dollars in damage and unquantifiable distrust intensified between residents and law enforcement. Video footage and images of the infamous uprising have burned themselves into the cultural memory of the city, for those who live there and those who don't.

Whether you remember the LA riots of '92 or not, these images are a testament to a continuing history of protest against police brutality in America.

  • Asian American demonstrators march through the street carrying South Korean flags and signs which say "Love Your Neighbor-Jes
    David Butow/Corbis
    Asian American demonstrators march through the street carrying South Korean flags and signs which say "Love Your Neighbor-Jesus" and "We Can Get Along-Rodney King." (David Butow/Corbis)
  • Luis Bernal, 13, center, and his brother, Juan, behind left, wave placards protesting police brutality outside the Foothill D
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Luis Bernal, 13, center, and his brother, Juan, behind left, wave placards protesting police brutality outside the Foothill Division Station of the Los Angeles Police Department, Wednesday, April 29, 1992. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
  • A California Highway patrolman directs traffic around a shopping center engulfed in flames in Los Angeles, on April 30, 1992.
    CARLOS SCHIEBECK via Getty Images
    A California Highway patrolman directs traffic around a shopping center engulfed in flames in Los Angeles, on April 30, 1992. Riots broke out in Los Angeles on April 29, 1992, after a jury acquitted four police officers accused of beating a black youth, Rodney King, in 1991, hours after the verdict was announced. (CARLOS SCHIEBECK/AFP/Getty Images)
  • An aerial view of firemen extinguishing a fire due to rioting in Los Angeles on April 30, 1992. Riots broke out in Los Angele
    MIKE NELSON via Getty Images
    An aerial view of firemen extinguishing a fire due to rioting in Los Angeles on April 30, 1992. Riots broke out in Los Angeles after a jury acquitted four police officers accused of beating a black youth, Rodney King, in 1991, hours after the verdict was announced. (MIKE NELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
  • A group of people clean up a burned building after the riots following the Rodney King trial in Los Angeles, April 30, 1992.
    Joseph Sohm/Corbis
    A group of people clean up a burned building after the riots following the Rodney King trial in Los Angeles, April 30, 1992. (Joseph Sohm/Corbis)
  • Community members giving lunch to policeman, South Central Los Angeles, California (Photo by Visions of America/UIG via Getty
    Visions of America via Getty Images
    Community members giving lunch to policeman, South Central Los Angeles, California (Photo by Visions of America/UIG via Getty Images)
  • A woman yells at Los Angeles police officers who stand guard outside a shopping center, on April 30, 1992, in Los Angeles. Th
    DON EMMERT/Getty Images
    A woman yells at Los Angeles police officers who stand guard outside a shopping center, on April 30, 1992, in Los Angeles. The acquittal of four police officers in the beating of Rodney King led to widespread anger and rioting. (DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Two members of the National Guard talk to a volunteer clean-up worker May 3, 1992 on a street in south central Los Angeles as
    JONATHAN UTZ via Getty Images
    Two members of the National Guard talk to a volunteer clean-up worker May 3, 1992 on a street in south central Los Angeles as the city starts to return to normal after days of rioting. (JONATHAN UTZ/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Several area residents attempt to put out a fire in the mostly hispanic area of Los Angeles, Pico/Union. (Ted Soqui/Corbis)
    Ted Soqui/Corbis
    Several area residents attempt to put out a fire in the mostly hispanic area of Los Angeles, Pico/Union. (Ted Soqui/Corbis)
  • Smoke covers Los Angeles in this Thursday, April 30, 1992 file photo. The violence that exploded April 29, 1992, left over 50
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Smoke covers Los Angeles in this Thursday, April 30, 1992 file photo. The violence that exploded April 29, 1992, left over 50 dead and 2,300 injured. The acquittal of several white police officers in the beating of black motorist Rodney King lit the fuse. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
  • Donell Moore, 7, carries his 3-year-old sister, Deshe, in front of a graffiti-sprayed wall of a burned-out drugstore in Los A
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Donell Moore, 7, carries his 3-year-old sister, Deshe, in front of a graffiti-sprayed wall of a burned-out drugstore in Los Angeles, Saturday, May 3, 1992 as their family walked the streets of the riot-torn city. The children's father, Larry Moore said the experience will not be forgotten by his kids and may even make them stronger. (AP Photo/Mark Elias)
  • Los Angeles police officers patrol a street,  May 3, 1992 in Los Angeles. (HAL GARB/AFP/Getty Images)
    AFP/Getty Images
    Los Angeles police officers patrol a street, May 3, 1992 in Los Angeles. (HAL GARB/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Couple cleaning up after 1992 riots, South Central Los Angeles, California (Photo by Visions of America/UIG via Getty Images)
    Visions of America / Getty Images
    Couple cleaning up after 1992 riots, South Central Los Angeles, California (Photo by Visions of America/UIG via Getty Images)
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PHOTO GALLERY
1992 Los Angeles Riots
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