On April 29, 1992, the streets of Los Angeles broke into chaos and disorder.
The LA riots erupted after a mostly white jury did not reach an excessive force conviction against the four white police officers who were videotaped beating black motorist Rodney King after he fled from police in an attempt to outrun a speeding charge.
Soon after the jury’s verdict was announced, rioting, looting, and arson quickly spun out of control. By the time the National Guard came in six days later, 52 people were dead, over 4,000 were injured, and $1 billion worth of property had been damaged. These stark images from the LA riots reveal a city in total collapse:
Taken by by George Holliday on March 3, 1991, this image shows the Rodney King beating that ultimately led to the riots. George Holliday/LA Times
A fire department crew sprays water on a burning mini-mall. Photo: Mike Nelson/AFP/Getty Images
People and their belongings line a sidewalk across from a burned out apartment. The apartment was attached to a row of stores that were set on fire and looted. Hal Garb/AFP/Getty Images
A rioter breaks a glass door of the Criminal Courts building, downtown Los Angeles. Hal Garb/AFP/Getty Images
Looters carry goods out of a shopping center. Hal Garb/AFP/Getty Images
A demonstrator protests the verdict in the trial of the four police officers accused of beating Rodney King outside the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) headquarters. Mike Nelson/AFP/Getty Images
Gang graffiti after the riots, South Central Los Angeles. Visions of America/UIG via Getty Images
A National Guardsman stands watch over a strip mall in South Central Los Angeles during day two of the riots. Steve Grayson/WireImage
An unidentified police officer watches rioters in hand restraints.
The front page of the LA Times during the riots. LA Times
Looters leave a liquor store with cases of beer. Hal Garb/AFP/Getty Images
Rioters destroy an iron gate from a store in downtown Los Angeles just hours after citywide rioting and looting broke out. Wade Byars/AFP/Getty Images
National Guardsmen and a police officer take up security positions in front of a burned and looted shopping center on day three of the riots. Hal Garb/AFP/Getty Images
National Guardsmen watch a business go up in flames in South Los Angeles. Hal Garb/AFP/Getty Images
A California Highway patrolman directs traffic around a shopping center engulfed in flames on day two of the riots. Carlos Schiebeck/AFP/Getty Images
Part of a group of about 100 protesters gather outside the East County Courthouse in Simi Valley, California on May 5, 1992 to protest the Rodney King verdict. Hal Garb/AFP/Getty Images
A store owner and an LAPD officer survey the damage caused by looters. Mike Nelson/AFP/Getty Images
Flames roar from a Thrifty Drug store in the Crenshaw area of Los Angeles. Mike Nelson/AFP/Getty Images
A Korean store owner is comforted by a local resident after she returned to find her place of business looted and burned in South Central Los Angeles on day two of the riots. Steve Grayson/WireImage
A woman yells at Los Angeles police officers who are standing guard outside a shopping center on day two of the riots. Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images
If you want live footage of the riots -- and a sad reminder of how many grievances have gone unanswered -- check out the documentary below: