00:00:00 | 3:02:50




This is the second in a week of special programs about the Rodney King riot of 1992, America's worst civil disturbance of the 20th Century. How did it shape the city we know today?  How did it shape our perceptions about the most diverse metropolitan center in the United States, perhaps in the world? We hear from a diverse panel and from the Rev. Cecil "Chip" Murray of the LA's First AME Church. (For additional KCRW coverage of the 1992 riots, go to http://KCRW.com/LARiots.

Banner image: Looters leave a liquor store with cases of beer, May 1, 1992 in Los Angeles, after a mostly white jury acquitted the four police officers accused in the videotaped beating of black motorist Rodney King. Photo by Hal Garb/AFP/Getty Images

Main Topic Who Is LA, Twenty Years after the Riots? 46 MIN, 14 SEC

In this second in a week of special programs, we consider how the Rodney King riot of 1992 shaped the city we know today. We start at what's often called the epicenter of the civil disturbance, the place where Reginald Denny was pulled out of his truck and brutally beaten, while millions watched on TV. A white man, he was beaten by black rioters. It's important to point out that it was also black people who rescued Denny and saved his life. What is it like there today? How did America's worst civil disturbance of the 20th Century shape our perceptions about the most diverse metropolitan center in the United States, perhaps in the world?


(L-R) Kyeyoung Park, Manuel Pastor and Martha Arevalo
in the KCRW Studios


Special thanks to the Public Insight Network for helping us connect with the community.

Manuel Pastor, University of Southern California (@Prof_MPastor)
Kyeyoung Park, University of California, Los Angeles
Martha Arevalo, Central American Resource Center

Reporter's Notebook The First AME Church, a Voice of Reason amid the Riots 12 MIN, 53 SEC

In the aftermath of the riots, one of our first Which Way, LA? programs was broadcast from the First African Methodist Episcopal Church in the Adams District, just south of the 10 Freeway not far from USC. Dr. Cecil "Chip" Murray took over a church with 300 members in 1977. By 1992, it was a mega-church of 18,000, including the late Mayor Tom Bradley and many other people of influence, an institution with a major impact on the social and economic life of Los Angeles. Rev. Murray now holds the John R. Tansey Chair of Christian Ethics at USC.


WWLA's Warren Olney with Rev. Cecil "Chip" Murray

Cecil 'Chip' Murray, University of Southern California

Twice Tested by Fire

Cecil Murray

Subscribe to the 5 Things To Do newsletter

Never miss the best of what to do with your free time.


More From Which Way, L.A.?


Latest From KCRW

View Schedule


View All Events


Player Embed Code