14 May 2004
Rodney King and the Los Angeles Riots
The worst riot in United States History was the Los Angles riot that was sparked by the acquittal of four Los Angeles Police Department officers in the Rodney King case in the afternoon of April 29, 1992. Rodney King was a black man who was clubbed and kicked by LAPD officers after being pulled over for speeding on March 3, 1991. Rodney King suffered eleven skull fractures, brain damage, and kidney damage, all in under two minutes. The four LAPD officers were charged with assault with a deadly weapon and the use of excessive force, but were acquitted by a white jury. Thousands of people responded to the verdict with many days of rioting in South Central Los Angeles. There was an estimated seven hundred million dollars in damages to the city of Los Angeles.
Many people were killed, injured, and arrested.
Rodney King was an unemployed construction worker who was twenty-five years old at the time he was spotted speeding down a San Fernando freeway by a California Highway Patrol Unit. The patrol unit then chased King and the other two passengers he had in his speeding car. After King got off the freeway, LAPD joined the pursuit. Rodney King finally pulled over in the city of Lake View Terrace. Officers ordered King to get out of his car, and he did, but officers said he didn't look too happy about it. Four officers, Timothy Wind, Theodore Briseno, Stacy Koon, and Laurence Powell tried to arrest King, but according to police, King resisted, throwing everyone off of him easily. That is when Sergeant Stacy Koon hit King with two tazer darts. Tazer darts are designed to stun a suspect easily, but not...