Last updated: 6 months ago
This period of unrest in Los Angeles was preceded by years of racial tension. The city had become a powder keg, and the riot began with a traffic stop on August 11. A 21 year-old black man named Marquette Frye was pulled over for reckless driving and was given a field sobriety test. His brother and passenger, Ronald, walked to their nearby home and brought back their mother, Lena Price, who began to lecture her son for drunk driving. What happened next is unclear, but an altercation began between all three black people and the white police officers, with Price jumping on one of the officers and an officer pulling out a shotgun. No shots were fired, but all three civilians were arrested and a false rumor began that the police had kicked a pregnant woman.
Police chief William Parker openly described the rioters as “monkeys in a zoo,” a statement he never retracted or apologized for. 34 people were killed, 268 buildings were destroyed, some 700 more were damaged, and $40 million worth of damage was done.
June 2017 Project Long hot summer