four police officers caught beating up Rodney King were acquitted of the attacks.
Los Angeles erupted into violence with random beatings, looting, and more than
4000 fires. It was the worst civil disturbance in the USA in the 20th century.
King was caught after a high speed chase by police, and when he was uncooperative,
he was beaten. An 89 second video of the attack caused outrage across the world,
and sparked a debate in the US over police brutality.
not guilty verdict was delivered by a jury of 10 whites (no African-Americans).
The trial had been moved outside Los Angeles to Simi Valley in Ventura County
to avoid problems.
riot lasted three days. 55 people died, 2000 injured, 7000 arrested. About $1bn
in property damage.
George Bush sent in specially trained troops on 1st May and by the end of the
day the riot was under control.
was a retrial and on 17 April 1993 two officers were convicted for violating King's
rights by their unreasonable use of force. On August 4, 1993, Koon and Powell
were sentenced to two and a half years in prison. Two other officers were acquitted.