On this day in 1992, a jury in Simi Valley, CA found three of the four arresting officers innocent of use of excessive force during the arrest of Rodney King. The trial brought to close a year-long investigation of King's arrest during a traffic stop.
After the announcement of the verdict, rioting and looting broke out across Los Angeles, causing fifty-four deaths, thousands of injuries, over 7000 arrests, and close to $1 billion in property damage.
The National Guard was mobilized by then Governor Pete Wilson to quell the violence and restore order. President George H.W. Bush hinted at a federal prosecution, which would end in April 1993 with a split verdict between the four officers.
“20 Years Ago, the Rodney King Traffic Stop Changed L.A. Forever.”
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