Montage: Fragments from the '92 Riots

LA Riots Collages

Mae Ryan/KPCC with archival photo by Gary Leonard

A business near the intersection of 8th St. and Alvarado St. burns on April 29th, 1992. More than 2,000 businesses were damaged or destroyed during the riots.

LA Riots Collages

Mae Ryan/KPCC with archival photo by Gary Leonard

Police quell looters and fires near 924 S Vermont Ave in Koreatown on April 29th, 1992. Few Koreans received help from the city in rebuilding their stores after the riots.

LA Riots Collages

Mae Ryan/KPCC with archival photo by Gary Friedman

The Sorbonne Market at 4600 S. Vermont Ave erupts in flames on April 29th, 1992. There was approximately one billion dollars in property damages over the course of the riots.

LA Riots Collages

Mae Ryan/KPCC with archival photo by Kirk McCoy

On April 29th, 1992 four men pulled Reginald Denny out of his truck and nearly beat him to death at the intersection of Florence and Normandie in South Central Los Angeles.

LA Riots Collages

Mae Ryan/KPCC with archival photo by Gary Leonard

Armed forces stop looters at Ralph's during the '92 riots at 4360 S Figueroa St. in South Central Los Angeles. The government deployed 2,800 National Guard with another 3,200 standby, and 4,000 Marines and US Army troops during the riots.

LA Riots Collages

Mae Ryan/KPCC with archival photo by Gary Leonard

A fire blazes at 165 S. Vermont St. in Koreatown on April 29th, 1992. Five Korean merchants were killed in the riots, others were wounded, and several stores were looted.


The rioting that broke out in L.A. in 1992 was one of the most traumatic episodes in the history of the city. Sunday marks the 20th anniversary of the violence. The riots lasted a total of six days. More than 50 people were killed. Property damage was estimated at a billion dollars. Long time L.A.P.D. Chief Daryl Gates retired two months later.

KPCC's Shirley Jahad produced this audio snapshot of the first day of the rioting, which erupted after just a few words. KPCC's Mae Ryan produced the accompanying images juxtaposing images from intersections of the events from then and now.

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