On March 3, 1991, Rodney King, a paroled felon, led police on a long, high-speed chase through Los Angeles. King surrendered and four officers subsequently beat him more than 50 times with their batons. Footage of the beating videotaped by a witness was broadcast on KTLA and aired numerous times around the world.
King was released without charges and the four officers were indicted by a grand jury in connection with the beating. On April 29, 1992, the four white LAPD officers were acquitted and protests and violence erupted in South Central Los Angeles, starting with the beating of Reginald Denny, and spread throughout the metropolitan area. The riots lasted for six days and left dozens dead, over 2,300 people injured, and more than 11,000 arrested, leaving Los Angeles with an estimated $1 billion in property damage.
25 years later, NBC News Archives marks the anniversary of the LA Riots with a compilation of footage that includes the outrage of the LA Community, aerials of the rioting and looting, the call for Chief Gates resignation, Rodney King and his representatives’ reaction to the violence and Los Angeles attempting to rebuild after the riots. Footage from their extensive LA Riots collection has been used in countless productions, including A&E Network’s “L.A. Burning: The Riots 25 Years Later”, National Geographic Channel’s “LA 92”, Universal feature film, “Straight Outta Compton”, and ESPN’s “O.J.: Made in America” amongst others. To view, license and download this footage, go to: LA Riots at NBCUniversalArchives.