LA Before It Erupted

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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 reacted, including some of our listeners. (For additional KCRW coverage of the 1992 riots, go to

Banner image: National Guardsmen and a police officer take up security positions in front of a burned and looted shopping center, May 1, 1992 in central Los Angeles. Photo by Hal Garb/AFP/Getty Images



Warren Olney


Katie Cooper