In April of 1992, a jury verdict acquitted four Los Angeles police officers of the beating of African American Motorist Rodney King after a high speed chase. The beating, which had been videotaped, had sparked racial tensions throughout the city and the verdict was the final straw for many. Widespread, violence, looting, arson and murder continued for nearly a week. National Guard troop and U.S. Marines were called in to restore order. At least 53 people were killed, 2000 injured and more than a $billion in damages occurred. Much of the violence was broadcast live over national television, including the near fatal beating of truck driver Reginald Denny.
The racial breakdown of the 53 people who died are as follows:
Black: 25, Hispanic: 16, White: 8, other: 4.