Emergency Management La Riots
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Table of Contents
Page 3- Introduction
Page 3 – Los Angeles Erupts
Page 6- The Powder Keg and the Spark
Page 7- LA- Rich vs. Poor, Black vs. White
Page 7- Crack Cocaine and Gangs
Page 8- Figure #2- Gang Territories 1996
Page 10- Rodney King and Latasha Harlins
Page 11- Long Term Planning
Page 11- Prevention/Mitigation
Page 11- Preparedness
Page 12- Response
Page 12- Recovery
Page 14- Bibliography
The aim of this assignment will be to provide an overview of the civil unrest which took place in the city of Los Angeles, California, USA from April 29 to May 2, 1992. In examining this incident I will endeavor to explain how and why it happened, who and what was affected and what the long term planning implications are for an event such as this. In order to do this I will present an overview of the four days of violence that gripped Los Angeles and investigate some of the root causes of the uprising. Finally, I will present my theories of how better or different prevention, preparedness, response and recovery could have minimized the effects of the incident.

Los Angeles Erupts
In the late afternoon of April 29, 1992 sparks of anger and alienation erupted in Los Angeles, California, USA. For 4 days violent civil unrest raged in this Metropolis of 9,000,000 (U.S. census population estimate for Los Angeles County, California State demographic Research Unit, California Department of Finance), causing the deaths of 54 people, injuring over 2,400 (University of Southern California, “The Los Angeles Riots 1992”,

Starting at the intersection of Florence and Nomandie, in the predominantly black and hispanic inhabited area of LA known as South Central, a small group of 25-40 teens took to the streets and began a rowdy protest, striking cars with baseball bats and shouting anti police slogans. The Los Angeles Police Department responded with 6 officers and during the course of attempting to arrest 2 gang members, they became surrounded by a mob of 300-400 people (Vernon, 1993, pg 18) throwing rocks and bottles and shouting at the officers. More back up was called and within minutes there were 25 officers there. As the violence escalated, the LAPD commander at the scene ordered his officers to retreat from the area (Vernon, 1993, pg 19). The LAPD would not return to this flashpoint for over 3 hours (Cannon, 1997, pg. 304). This signaled the beginning of the rampant destruction and brutal violence which captivated much of the world for 4 days.

Over those 4 days the spring of 1992, roaming mobs of protesters carried out random beatings and murders, looted and firebombed over 5,300 buildings (The Toll, LA Times, May 7, 1992, pg A6). There are many documented cases, most from early in the riots of innocent motorists being pulled from their cars and beaten. The most famous case, involving a white truck driver named Reginald Denny was captured live by a news helicopter circling above. Mr. Denny was a classic case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, as he attempted to maneuver his transport truck through the intersection of Florence and Normandie minutes after the police retreated and the violence began to escalate. Mr. Denny was pulled from the cab of his truck, punched and kicked relentlessly, beaten in the head with a hammer, then smashed in the head with a cinder block as he lay motionless on the pavement. As he lay on the ground, one assailant did a victory dance around his body, and another casually walked up and rifled through his pockets (Cannon, 1997, pg. 305). I can still remember watching this carnage at my home, and thinking, as many were, “where are the police.” Mr. Denny is alive today thanks to the

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Days Of Violence And Los Angeles. (May 31, 2021). Retrieved from https://www.freeessays.education/days-of-violence-and-los-angeles-essay/