25 Years Later Rodney King Resurfaces In National Geographic’s “LA 92”

Photo: Baltimore Sun
WOW! I really don’t even know where to start. What an amazing piece put together by Academy Award winner Simon Chinn and Emmy award winner Jonathan Chinn. From the moment I press play on the documentary, it immediately caught my attention with the vivid images and an up close and personal feel as though I was in California in 1992.

Watching the reconstruction of some of the most trying times in American History was sometimes tough to watch which caused me to have to turn away during some scenes. The police brutality that went un-documented was just a sad thing to see. To think that this racial oppression and socioeconomic inequality took place less than a quarter century ago is crazy to even fathom.

On the East Coast African-American’s were thriving and living the “American Dream”. Atlanta in particular was the place to be from African Americans looking to do well in business, or simply change their social economic status. 

Nearly 25 years later National Geographic has dug up nearly 1,000 hours of powerful footage from, ‘LA 92’  which reconstructs the tumultuous days that changed America.

In 1991 LA came to a stand still when 25-year-old Rodney King was brutally beaten by four white police officers for what was deemed to be a traffic violation stop. Beaten over 50+ times the officers in Kings case were acquitted of assault by a predominantly white Simi Valley jury. 

The King verdict sparked a wave of violent protests, looting and arson that lasted several days and left more than 50 people dead, thousands injured and large swaths of Los Angeles – including many Korean-American-owned businesses – in ruins. In the case of the King beating, it was the first time the kind of abuse many had witnessed or experienced at the hands of LAPD officers was recorded and broadcast for the world to see, leaving some with the sense that if justice did not prevail despite such graphic evidence, it never would.

We still have a long way to go when it comes to dealing with racial inequality, but this documentary is truly a step in the right direction when it comes to dealing with the issues head on.


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