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1992 LA Riots Timeline: What Happened Before and After the Rodney King Verdict

1992 LA Riots Timeline: What Happened Before and After the Rodney King Verdict

Thirty years ago this week, widespread violence erupted in Los Angeles in the aftermath of the acquittal of four white Los Angeles Police Department officers in the videotaped beating of Rodney King.

More than 60 people were killed and 2,300 were injured in days of fires, looting and violence that followed the verdict. Thousands of fires burned and property damage was estimated at $1 billion.

Below, a timeline of key events, starting with the moment in March 1991 that King was pulled over by authorities within view of the San Fernando Valley apartment of resident George Holliday and his new video camera.

Rodney King’s daughter has made it her life’s mission to celebrate her father’s legacy. Kathy Vara reported on NBC4 News on Wednesday, March 3, 2021.

Before the Rodney King Verdict

March 3, 1991: California Highway Patrol officers pull over Rodney King for speeding on a Los Angeles freeway. King, who was on probation for a robbery conviction, exited the freeway and stopped in front of an apartment building in the San Fernando Valley community of Lake View Terrace. Los Angeles Police Department officers took over the traffic stop — plumber and apartment resident George Holliday, awakened by the noise, used a recently purchased video camera to capture what happened next. His videotape shows four white police officers beating King, including after he was on the ground. Holliday gave the videotape to a TV station.

I was just wondering what had happened. What had led up to this?

George Holliday

“I didn’t really understand what was going on,” Holliday told NBC in 2016. “I was just wondering what had happened. What had led up to this?”

March 15, 1991: A Los Angeles County grand jury indictment is unsealed, charging the four LAPD officers seen in Holliday’s video with felony assault and other offenses.

Archive Video: This video was originally broadcast on March 3, 2016. George Holliday reflects on the night he recorded LAPD officers confront driver Rodney King in front of Holliday’s Lake View Terrace apartment in northeast LA. Editor’s Note: This video was originally published March 3, 2016, 25 years after the Rodney King beating was brought into the national view by the home video. Patrick Healy reports for the NBC4 News at 5 and 6 p.m. on March 3, 2016.

March 16, 1991: Fifteen-year-old Latasha Harlins is shot in he back of the head by a Korean shop owner. The Black teen had placed a bottle of orange juice in her backpack inside the store and approached the counter with cash. Shopkeeper Soon Ja Du accused Harlins of trying to steal the juice before a scuffle broke out between the two. As Harlins walked away, the shopkeeper opened fire in a killing captured on store security camera video.

March 21, 1991: LAPD Sgt. Stacey Koon and officers Theodore Briseno, Laurence Powell and Timothy Wind plead not guilty in the beating of Rodney King.

Nov. 15, 1991: Shopkeeper Soon Ja Du is convicted of voluntary manslaughter for the killing of Latasha Harlins. She could have been sentenced to 16 years in prison, but the judge placed her on probation. The light sentence for the Black teen’s shooting death came a week before a Los Angeles County court case involving cruelty to a dog ended with a tougher 30-day jail sentence.

Nov. 26, 1991: In a key legal development, the officers’ trial is moved to Simi Valley northwest of Los Angeles. A court determined the case’s publicity and highly charged political environment it created might not allow for a fair trial in Los Angeles.

A California Highway patrolman directs raffic around a shopping center engulfed in flames in Los Angeles.


A California Highway patrolman directs traffic around a shopping center engulfed in flames in Los Angeles, 30 April 1992. Credit: CARLOS SCHIEBECK/AFP via Getty Images

After the Rodney King Verdict

April 29, 1992: The jury acquits the four officers after seven days of deliberations on almost all charges. Jurors deadlocked on one assault count against Powell.

April 29, 1992: Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley calls the verdicts “senseless.”

“The jury’s verdict will never blind the world to what we saw on the videotape,” Bradley says.



A law enforcement officer is pictured as smoke rises in the distance during the 1992 Los Angeles riots.

April 29, 1992: News of the jury’s decision spreads, unrest follows. The first reports of burning and looting stores come soon after the verdict is announced. Mayor Bradley’s request to send in the National Guard is granted by Gov. Pete Wilson.

The violence includes the attack on trucker Reginald Denny, who was pulled from his cab and Florence and Normandie avenues and beaten.

Smoke fills the skies above the Los Angeles Memorial coliseum as arson fires burned on Thursday, April 30, 1992. Major Los Angeles-area sports events were canceled, postponed or relocated due to rioting and violence. (Photo by Myung Chun/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images)

April 30, 1992: Looting and fires are reported across LA County. Some business owners form armed community teams in the absence of a police presence. A dusk-to-dawn curfew is imposed in large portions of the city of Los Angeles and the surrounding county.

A building burns during the 1992 Los Angeles riots.


A building burns during the 1992 Los Angeles riots.

May 1, 1992: In an emotional plea for an end to the violence, King stands before TV cameras and asks, “Can we all get along?”

May 3, 1992: A citywide curfew is lifted. Bradley announces the crisis is over.

May 4, 1992: Violence and crime breaks out sporadically. Schools, banks, and businesses reopen.



Rodney King smiles May 1, 1992 during a news conference in Beverly Hills where he pleaded for an end to the violence of the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Credit: Getty

June 28, 1992: Chief Daryl Gates retires from the LAPD after 43 years, the last 14 as chief.

Aug. 5, 1992: Three months after their acquittals in the criminal case, LAPD Sgt. Koon and Officers Powell, Briseno and Wind are indicted on federal charges of violating King’s civil rights.

A severely injured Reginald Denny is seen after being dragged from his truck and beaten during the 1992 Los Angeles riots.


A severely injured Reginald Denny is seen after being dragged from his truck and beaten during the 1992 Los Angeles riots.

Dec. 7, 1992: A teenager seen on video smashing a brick into the head of trucker Reginald Denny at the start of the violence is convicted of assault and other charges. Damian “Football” Williams is sentenced to 10 years in prison.

In one of his few interviews, Denny told NBCLA in 2002 that he understands he was targeted because he is white, but said focusing on race in thinking about the riots is foolish and shortsighted. At the time of the interview, Denny had long since forgiven the men who assaulted him and expressed gratitude for residents who came to his aid, risking their own lives in saving his.

“People seem to forget it was black folks that saved my life,” Denny said. “On one hand, there were some out there to try to kill me or do me in. On the other hand, they are trying to save me because I’m not the enemy, and believe me I am not the enemy.”

April 17, 1993: Koon and Powell are convicted of violating King’s civil rights. Briseno and Wind are acquitted.

Aug 3, 1994: The city of Los Angeles agrees to pay King $3.8 million for medical bills, pain and suffering due to the beating.

Aug. 4, 1994: Powell and Koon are sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison in the civil case against them.

April 16, 2010: Former LAPD Chief Bill Gates dies of cancer at age 83.

June 17, 2012: King drowns in his backyard swimming pool at age 47. His death was just weeks after the 20th anniversary of the riots and soon after the release of his memoir “The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption.”

Sept. 19, 2021: George Holliday, whose videotape brought the King beating to public light, dies due to complications from COVID-19. He was 61.

Holliday told the New York Times a year earlier that he was still working as a plumber and never profited from the video. He said he had purchased the camera he used to record the King beating about a month earlier and he grabbed it instinctively when he was awakened by the traffic stop.

“You know how it is when you have a new piece of technology,” he told the Times. “You film anything and everything.”

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hijab: Karnataka hijab verdict: How events unfolded | India News – Times of India

hijab:   Karnataka hijab verdict: How events unfolded | India News - Times of India
NEW DELHI: The full bench of the Karnataka High Court, which concluded its hearing in the Hijab case, is likely to pronounce its verdict on Tuesday.
The demand by a section of girls in an Udupi pre-university college to wear Hijab inside their classrooms erupted into a major row after some Hindu students turned up in saffron shawls with the issue spreading to other parts of the state, even as the government insisted on a uniform norm.
Earlier, the High Court had reserved its order on various petitions challenging the ban on Hijab in educational institutions.
Here’s a look at how the hijab controversy unfolded in the last few months:
Dec 31: An incident of about six students from Government PU College for Girls, Udupi, demanding they wear hijab inside classrooms comes to light. During admission, they were informed about the rules and nobody had objected, the college says
Jan 1: A meeting organised at the college decides not to allow students to wear headscarf inside classrooms.
Jan 6: Pompei College Aikala decides to allow students to wear only prescribed uniform. College hogs limelight after pictures and videos of students wearing saffron shawls on campus go viral.
Jan 13: Eight students from Government PU College for Girls, Udupi, decide to attend classes only if they are allowed to wear hijab. MLA Raghupathi Bhat writes to PU director. Students claim the undertaking they signed at the time of admission spoke only about wearing uniform and identity cards.
Jan 19: Another attempt is made to solve the headscarf row at the Udupi college. It’s decided that students can wear hijab in classrooms; however, once the teacher arrives and classes begin, they will have to remove it. In case they do not agree, they will have to wait for government orders.
Jan 25: Karnataka government decides to set up expert committee to decide on uniform and dress code. It directs colleges in Udupi to maintain status quo till panel takes a final decision. On January 28, even as the college betterment committee at the Government PU College for Girls starts discussions with Muslim leaders and parents to end the hijab crisis, Campus Front of India states it will continue to support the girls.
Jan 31: MLA Raghupathi Bhat says action will be initiated against students who enter classrooms wearing hijab.
Jan 31: Five Muslim girls from Government PU College for Girls, Udupi, approach high court seeking a declaration from it that they have a fundamental right to practise essential religious practices, including wearing of hijab as per Islamic faith, on college premises. On February 1, six students denied entry into classroom.
Feb 2: Controversy erupts in another government college — in Kundapur — as 28 girls sport hijab and about 50 boys don saffron shawl. MLA Haladi Srinivas Shetty requests students to follow prescribed uniform.
Feb 2: Some students protest against those wearing hijab in Sir MV Government College in Bhadravathi, Shivamogga.
Feb 3: Controversy flares up in Kundapur Junior College as nearly 28 Muslim students denied entry for wearing hijab. It spreads to Bhandarkar’s Arts and Science College and later to Government PU College.
Feb 4: A group of students from government PU college in Ramadurga, Belagavi, comes to class draping saffron shawls on Feb 1. But incident comes to light on Feb 4.
Feb 8: Tension grips Mahatma Gandhi Memorial College in Udupi after Hindu students wear saffron turbans and shawls to counter students sporting hijab.
Feb 8: Govt declares 3-day holiday as high court hears petition filed by students.
Feb 9: Karnataka High Court Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi constitutes a full bench to hear the Hijab row.
Feb 10: The SC refused to list a plea seeking transfer of hijab row petitions from the Karnataka High Court to the Supreme Court on an urgent basis.
Feb 14: Schools opened in Karnataka. Visuals showing students and teachers being asked to take off their hijab and burqa before entering the campus were on rounds.
Feb 16: Pre-university colleges and schools open after they were shut for a week.
Feb 23: The Karnataka High Court states that its interim order in the hijab case is applicable to all educational institutions as long as the matter is sub-judice. Court also said that if an institute wants, it may prescribe a uniform at any given time.
Feb 25: The Karnataka High Court reserves its judgement in the hijab row after a marathon hearing in the case.