Riots20 - History, voices, lessons of the Rodney King Riots - Off-Ramp for April 28, 2012

Riots20: Stories from the LA Riots

People taking merchandise from J. C. Discount Outlet, located at 2101 W. Pico Blvd., during the riots of 1992. The security gate has been broken open. Photo date: April 30, 1992.

Gary Leonard/LAPL

Fire fighters pour water on burning stores during the riots on April 30, 1992. A police car is in the foreground.

Gary Leonard/LAPL

A building is burning on a street near the intersection of Western Avenue on April 30, 1992, during the LA Riots.

Gary Leonard/LAPL

Police officers patrol a street as smoke billows out behind them on April 30, 1992.

Gary Leonard/LAPL

A group of people hold up signs advocating changes in the Los Angeles Police Department during the LA Riots unrest on April 29, 1992.

Gary Leonard/LAPL

A soldier from the National Guard stands duty near City Hall on May 2, 1992, in Little Tokyo.

Gary Leonard/LAPL

A $2 or Less store destroyed by fire during the LA Riots on April 30, 1992.

Gary Leonard/LAPL

An man is being arrested by a Los Angeles policeman during the riots on May 2, 1992.

Gary Leonard/LAPL

A man runs by a building going up in smoke during the LA Riots on April 30, 1992.


Over the last few months, KPCC has been talking with Angelenos about the 1992 riots, sparked by the acquittals of the LAPD officers accused of beating Rodney King and predicated on the documented historic abuse of blacks and Latinos by the LAPD. Some people, like the current head of the L.A. Chamber of Commerce, were far away, some were in the middle, like a little girl who remembers how hot the windows of her apartment got as riots burned a nearby building.

Our photos come from Gary Leonard, archived online at the L.A. Public Library. Leonard documented the riots himself, but also took along his 14-year-old son, who had his own camera. Their photos are featured at a new show that opens April 29th at Leonard's gallery in downtown Los Angeles.


blog comments powered by Disqus