Dramatic Photos of the 1992 LA Riots

More than 60 people were killed, more than 12,000 others were arrested and $1 billion in property damage was recorded during the five days of rioting.

71 photos
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Amateur videographer George Holliday captured the Rodney King beating on video on March 3, 1991.
This file photo of Rodney King was taken on March 6, 1991, three days after his videotaped beating in Los Angeles. The photo was one of three introduced into evidence by the prosecution in the trial of four LAPD officers in a Simi Valley, California, courtroom, on March 24, 1992. The acquittal of the four officers sparked rioting that spread across the city and into neighboring suburbs. Cars were demolished and homes and businesses were burned. Before order was restored, more than 60 people were dead. Property damage was estimated at $1 billion.
Los Angeles police officer Theodore Briseno defends his actions in the assault on motorist Rodney King during court testimony in Simi Valley, Calif., April 3, 1992. A scene from the video of the assault is shown at left.
Four LAPD officers, pictured here, charged with felony assault on Rodney King were acquitted by a jury with no black members, sparking five days of rioting.
Sgt. Stanley Koon, one of the four acquitted officers, leaves the Simi Valley courthouse immediately following the verdict.
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. The protest came following the verdicts announced in the beating trial of motorist Rodney King. The incident involving King and LAPD officers took place in the Foothill Division. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
AFP/Getty Images
A demonstrator protesting the verdict in the trial of four Los Angeles police officers accused of beating motorist Rodney King holds a placard aloft before a line of police as protesters gathered at Parker Center, the former headquarters of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Reginald Denny is pulled from a truck and beaten as the LA riots begin at the intersection of Florence and Normandie.
Bart Bartholomew
Angry residents confront LAPD officers shortly after the not-guilty verdict was read.
Bart Bartholomew
LAPD officers attempt to arrest a member of the crowd gathered near Florence and Normandie. Minutes later, officers left the area.
People surround an abandoned car in the middle of the street.
Corbis via Getty Images
A building on the corner of 8th Street and La Brea Avenue burns during the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
AP Photo/Paul Sakuma
Looters mill in the parking lot of the ABC Market in South Central Los Angeles, April 30, 1992, as violence and looting ensued following the verdicts in the Rodney King assault case.
Edward Song Lee, an 18-year-old Korean American, was shot and killed on April 30, 1992, as he tried to defend a Korean-American-owned shop. He was apparently shot by fellow Korean Americans who mistook him for a looter.
AP Photo/Nick Ut
A Korean shopping mall burns near Third Street and Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles Thursday, April 30, 1992, on the second day of rioting in the city.
AP Photo/Akili-Casundria Ramsess
This April 30, 1992, photo shows looters running with stolen merchandise from a Payless shoe store near the Crenshaw and Jefferson area of Los Angeles.
AP Photo/Bob Galbraith
Three women laugh and run while carrying as much as they can from a clothing store during the rioting on April 30, 1992.
Two Korean men stand on the roof of a grocery store with rifles to prevent looters from entering the store in this file photo taken April 30, 1992.
AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian
An unidentified man tries in vain to stop the spread of flames from a Los Angeles camera shop as rioting continued throughout the area in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 30, 1992.
A firefighter sprays water on a burning auto parts store in Los Angeles during riots.
AP Photo/John Gaps III
A Los Angeles police officer takes aim at a looter in a market at Alvarado and Beverly in Los Angeles, April 30, 1992, during the second night of rioting in the city. Fires and looting destroyed $1 billion worth of property.
A commercial building is left to burn as firefighters protect nearby buildings from fire damage in what used to be called South Central Los Angeles, Wednesday, April 30, 1992.
David Longstreath/AP
A California Highway Patrol officer stands guard at Ninth Street and Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles on April 30, 1992.
AP Photo/Bob Galbraith
An unidentified man runs down Vermont Street in Los Angeles with electronic appliances taken from a 3rd Street store during a day of looting on Thursday, April 30, 1992.
A man throws a Marlboro sign at a passing car.
Doug Pizac/AP
A man loots a store in South Central Los Angeles on April 30, 1992.
A group of gun-wielding Korean Americans stand outside a business.
AFP/Getty Images
Firefighters douse a blaze that erupted during the Los Angeles riots on April 30, 1992.
A group stands on an overturned structure.
Mike Nelson/Getty Images
A store owner and a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy look at the damage caused by looters.
AP Photo/Nick Ut
A man walks away with a couch on his back from a store in South Central Los Angeles in this April 30, 1992 photo.
Dozens surround a bus and attempt to overturn it.
David Butow/Corbis via Getty Images
A man walks past a burning building during the Los Angeles riots.
Mike Nelson/AFP/Getty Images
Firefighters battle a structure fire during rioting in Los Angeles on April 30, 1992.
AP Photo/Haywood Galbreath
Elderly people sit out in the street in Los Angeles on Wednesday, April 30, 1992, after their convalescent home was evacuated due a fire set in an adjacent building during the rioting.
A crowd surrounds a burning American flag.
Los Angeles police form a line to prevent a crowd from going into a building on April 30, 1992.
A fire burns out of control at the corner of East 67th Street and West Boulevard in Inglewood on April 30, 1992. Hundreds of stores were burned.
Smoke covers Los Angeles Thurday, April 30, 1992, as fires like this one near Vermont Street burn out of control.
Paul Sakuma/AP
Looters carry televisions out of a Fedco Department Store at La Cienega Boulevard and Rodeo Road in Los Angeles on May 1, 1992.
Officers remove looters from a destroyed storefront.
Members of the California National Guard get organized at the Coliseum in Los Angeles, Friday, May 1, 1992, before heading out to the streets. The Guard was called to duty to help stop fires and looting.
Hal Garb/AFP/Getty Images
People and their belongings line a sidewalk across from a burned out apartment on May 1, 1992, in Los Angeles. The apartment was attached to a row of stores that were burned and looted.
David Longstreath/AP
A National Guardsman stands guard at Vermont Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles.
Nick Ut/AP
National Guardsmen stand guard outside the ABC Market at Martin Luther King Boulevard and Vermont Street during the 1992 riots.
AP Photo/David Longstreath
A National Guardsman patrols a burned area near Wilshire and Vermont in Los Angeles, Thursday, May 1, 1992, as rioting continued following the outcome of the Rodney King beating trial.
Ted Soqui/Corbis via Getty Images
A mini-mall is looted and burned in South Central Los Angeles during the LA riots. Hundreds of businesses were burned to the ground.
Mike Nelson/AFP/Getty Images
A man passes in front of a line of police officers.
Hundreds of people wait in front of the Hancock Station of the U.S. Post Office to collect their mail in Los Angeles, May 1, 1992. Many of the people were at the post office to pick up their Social Security checks which are usually delivered on the first day of the month. The postal officials halted mail delivery in certain areas of the city due to the continuing violence.
AP Photo/David Longstreath
Carrying his booty, a looter picks his way through the rubble of destroyed buildings near Vermont Avenue in the Mid-City area of Los Angeles as rioting continued in Los Angeles, May 1, 1992.
Rodney King pleads for an end to the rioting in South Central Los Angeles on May 1, 1992, in Los Angeles.
Dayna Smith/The Washington Post/Getty Images
A woman holding two packages of toilet paper and dripping from an overhead sprinkler makes her way through looted grocery store in South Central Los Angeles on May 1, 1992.
Mark Elias/AP
National Guardsmen take a break from guarding businesses at Vernon and Vermont streets in Los Angeles on May 1, 1992.
AP Photo/John Gaps III
Actor Edward James Olmos uses a dumpster and broom in an effort to start cleaning up in South Central Los Angeles on May 1, 1992. Residents acted to take back neighborhoods damaged by looters and arsonists during the riots.
David Butow/Corbis via Getty Images
Children walk past a building destroyed by fire during the riots.
Reed Saxon/AP
A looter is led away by an officer at the intersection of Pico Boulevard and Hoover near the Koreatown section of Los Angeles on May 2, 1992. Sporadic incidents of arson and looting occurred throughout the city despite a dusk-to-dawn curfew.
AP Photo/Paul Sakuma
A National Guardsman escorts a surfer off Venice Beach in Los Angeles Saturday, May 2, 1992, as area beaches were closed in the wake of disturbances following the King verdict.
AP Photo/Chris Martinez
Two Los Angeles police officers and a National Guardsman position themselves to respond to semi-automatic gunfire in the Mid-Wilshire district of Los Angeles, Saturday, May 2, 1992.
A National Guard transport vehicle drives along a South LA street.
Tony Ellis flips burgers on a grill outside his riot-ransacked lingerie store in South Central Los Angeles, Saturday, May 3, 1992. Ellis and some friends were out to make a couple of dollars to refurbish and protect what remains of his looted shop while at the same time help the community where he lives by providing inexpensive food throughout the night.
AP Photo/Reed Saxon
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. The intersection was the site of the first reported violence that led to days of rioting, looting and burning as people angrily reacted to the acquittal of four Los Angeles police officers in the Rodney King assault case.
Juan Mocinos and his wife Istali, from Mexico, walk past a burned-out store with a message at Pico and LaBrea in the Mid-City area of Los Angeles, May 4, 1992. People began the long process of cleanup after several days of rioting.
AP/John Gaps III
Armed troops in trucks and two young girls walking down a street make for a different picture of life in Los Angeles, Monday, May 4, 1992. Troops protected the city while it tried to get back to normal operations.
AP/David Longstreath
Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton tours the devastation in Los Angeles, California, May 4, 1992.
Damian Williams, left, and Antoine Miller listen during their arraignment on charges relating to the televised beating and robbery of a truck driver during the Los Angeles riots in a Los Angeles courtroom, May 22, 1992. Two other men, Henry Watson and Gary Williams, were also arraigned on charges related to the incident at the hearing. A judge set bail for the four men who pleaded innocent.
AFP/Getty Images
Former Los Angeles Police Sgt. Stacey Koon grins during a press conference following his sentencing to a two-and-a-half year prison term on Aug. 4, 1993. Koon and former police officer Laurence Powell were found guilty of violating Rodney King's civil rights.
During taping of the "Donahue" show in New York, Monday November 8, 1993, Reginald Denny, left, the truck driver beaten in the 1992 Los Angeles riots, and Henry Keith Watson, charged with Denny's beating and recently acquitted, are shaking hands, as show host Phil Donahue, center, looks on. After watching a videotape of the attack, Watson apologized for the injuries Denny suffered, and was forgiven by his victim. Standing at far left is defense attorney Johnnie Cochran.
Rodney King poses for a portrait in Los Angeles in this April 13, 2012, file photo.
David Livingston/Getty Images
Rodney King attends the 17th annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at USC on April 21, 2012, in Los Angeles.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Rodney King arrives at the EsoWon bookstore to sign copies of his book, "The Riot Within: My Journey From Rebellion to Redemption," on April 30, 2012, in Los Angeles. King died June 17, 2012, at his home in Colton.
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