Remembering the 1992 LA Uprising, 25 Years Later
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FEATURING JODY ARMOUR – Saturday April 29th marks the 25th anniversary of the Los Angeles uprising when communities in South Los Angeles responded to a mostly white jury in Simi Valley that acquitted three Los Angeles police officers of all charges in the beating of Rodney King. The acquittals set off 4 days of civil unrest that garnered international media attention and forever changed the city of LA.
Now, as police killings and abuse of black Americans continued unabated in LA and beyond, the latest Los Angeles public opinion poll, which is conducted every 5 years, has found that a lack of trust of police continues to run along racial and class lines. Nearly 70 percent of LA’s white residents trust police to do the right thing, while less than 40% of blacks agree. A similar split is observed between the wealthiest and poorest sectors of the city respectively. And, for the first time since the poll began in 1997, a whopping 70% of LA’s residents fear another uprising like the one in 1992 is likely within the next 5 years.
In the age of Donald Trump, who has promised a “law and order” approach to the US’s “inner cities,” police may indeed be given a green light to continue business-as-usual.
Jody Armour, the Roy P. Crocker Professor of Law at the University of Southern California. He is the author of Negrophobia and Reasonable Racism: The Hidden Costs of Being Black in America. He is also a Soros Justice Senior Fellow of The Open Society Institute’s Center on Crime, Communities and Culture. And he is the Race and Criminal Justice Correspondent for Rising Up With Sonali.