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What does Latasha Harlins teach us about Trayvon Martin?

(L) Latasha Harlins (R) Trayvon Martin

In 1991, 15-year-old Latasha Harlins walked into a liquor store to buy a bottle of orange juice; she was fatally shot. Twenty years later, Trayvon Martin was killed on his way home from a 7-11 with an iced tea and a package of skittles. He was 17. The shooters in both cases were not dealt jail time. And that’s not where the similarities end.
The …

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Los Angeles before it erupted

Warren Olney, Raphael Sonenshein, Erin Aubry Kaplan, Bonghwan and Rubén Martínez

All week we’ve been airing programs about the Rodney King riot of 1992, America’s worst civil disturbance in the 20th Century. Now, we’re just three days away from April 29, exactly 20 years since four white LAPD officers were acquitted of charges of using excessive force. We hear about the mood of tension that pervaded the city at that time and how various people …

Arts & Culture, Featured, la riots »

Ozomatli’s LA Rebellion playlist

Ozomatli bandmembers at KCRW

Ozomatli may be known as a party band, but they say they are a “direct product of the LA Riots.” KCRW DJ Raul Campos talks with Ozomatli band members, Will Abers and Justin Poree about Los Angeles, their music and the LA rebellion. Here’s the full tracklist of the LA Riots as told through music — listen to the interview below.
“White Riot” by the Clash… …

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Video: Florence & Normandie 1992 and now

Central Avenue business owner, Lynda Wilson

The intersection of Florence and Normandie is considered a flashpoint of the 1992 LA Riots. People gathered at this corner to protest the acquittal of police officers who had beaten Rodney King. It was also on this corner that truck-driver Reginald Denny was dragged out of his cab and beaten, while Americans watched live on TV.
We ask, has the corner changed since 1992?


(Produced by …

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Listeners Remember: ‘It felt like the entire city was trying to flee Los Angeles’


When the verdict was announced, I was in the lower-level cafeteria at USC. I remember the entire cafeteria going silent when the news was read on the four televisions that were there. I remember shaking my head and wondering how a verdict like that was even possible. I also remember thinking “this is not going to be good,” but returned to my Westside apartment …

LA Noir, la riots »

Listeners Remember: ‘The fires and the smoke’

What do you remember most?
The fires and the smoke. Watching the craziness on television, then going outside and smelling the smoke. For days and weeks afterwards you could still smell smoke. I watched on television as the mini-mall literally next to my friends house burned to the ground. I saw my friend and his roommates on the roof of their house with hoses trying …

economy, Featured, Interviews, Issues, la riots, Politics, Warren Olney »

20 years after the riots, has LA changed?

By Brewbooks via Flickr

It’s been 20 years since the so-called Rodney King Riots, which broke out when four white LA police officers were acquitted of charges stemming from the beating of a drunk-driving suspect, an incident caught by an amateur photographer and televised world-wide. At five year intervals since then, Loyola Marymount’s Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles has polled residents about their city.  The …

Headline, Interviews, la riots, News, Politics, Warren Olney »

Former Mayor Richard Riordan: ‘Blacks felt like they were victims’

Former LA Mayor Richard Riordan

Richard Riordan was mayor of Los Angeles from 1993–2001, leading a city struggling to come to terms with the violent unrest, which left dozens dead and $1bn in property damage.  He talked to Warren about the root causes for the riots,  and their aftermath.
He said that there was a culture of treating African Americans as victims and that “treating someone like a victim is …

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The 1992 LA Riots: What do you remember?


Twenty years ago, Los Angeles erupted with civil unrest after a jury acquitted three white and one Hispanic police officer who had beaten a black truck driver named Rodney King. As we remember those events, we want to hear your story. Did the events change your life or affect your community? Please share your story below:

Your browser does not support iframes. View the form …

Arts & Culture, economy, Featured, Headline, Issues, LA Noir, News, Politics, Video »

New documentary looks at LA riots and hip hop


A new documentary produced by VH1 is premiering at SXSW just in time for the 20th anniversary of the L.A. riots.  “Uprising: Hip Hop & The LA Riots” (narrated by Snoop Dogg) talks to rappers, rioters, victims and police who remember the uprising. “Rebellions, revolutions, sacrifices have to be made… there’s always going to be bloodshed,” says one subject. According to the film’s synopsis:  …

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