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LA Riots Sparked 10 Years Ago

Aired April 29, 2002 - 05:42   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Ten years ago today, all hell broke loose on the streets of Los Angeles. The city exploded in violence after four LAPD officers were acquitted in the videotaped beating of Rodney King. We want to take a look back now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's perhaps the most notorious police brutality case in recent memory.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those blows continue and continue and continue for no just reason.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We, the jury, find the defendants not guilty of the crime of assault by force likely...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Updating our lead story, four current and former Los Angeles police officers were acquitted today of all but one criminal charge in the beating of motorist Rodney King.

DARRYL GATES, FORMER L.A. POLICE CHIEF: Most (ph) of that the people of this city will recognize that this is indeed our system of justice.

JOHN SINGLETON, FILM DIRECTOR: By having this verdict, what these people done, they let -- lit the fuse to a bomb and what happens after this, people are going to point to this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Disbelief, shock and anger, that was how people at this barbershop in South Central Los Angeles reacted.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a damn shame.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hope this don't start a riot, you know like that Watts stuff come up. So I hope it don't.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there that possibility?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What you're seeing now is from inside Parker Center, and I believe that this is when what was supposed to be a very peaceful protest actually turned very violent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More than 200 officers in riot gear encircled the building, demonstrators retreated, but some knocked over a guard shack. It crashed to the ground and was set on fire with paper leaflets. Police moved in and began arresting some of the demonstrators.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The intensity of the rioting forced Mayor Bradley to declare a state of emergency. The night here was lit with fires, the streets filled with unrest and police under attack.

TOM BRADLEY, MAYOR OF LOS ANGELES: We must not, we will not respond to this senseless jury verdict with senseless action born of anger. Instead, we must -- we will show the world what is possible in Los Angeles.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the biggest fire that we have at this point, the largest plume of smoke that we see.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The looting continues. So far, however, there has been no confrontation between police and looters. Most of it has been concentrated in this area of South Central Los Angeles.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It all about race. It ain't all about the color. What it's about, we not being treated right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They don't even have enough of police out here to do what they have to do. And all these people around here, we're overpowering them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's just burning to the ground.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is one scene many of us will never forget, angry people in the streets pulled at least four drivers from their vehicles and severely beat them.

RODNEY KING, POLICE BEATING VICTIM: People, I just want to say you know can we -- can we all get along? Can we -- can we get along?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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