Originally Posted by KneelJung
I get where your coming from Erik but what sparked the 92 riots and rioters was those folks were in essence giving voice to what they thought was injustice. They felt like the system completely and utterly failed them. Isnt that essentially what's driving the stuff in Egypt and more recently Tunisia. There is a good deal of civil unrest in a lot of places. We got folks showing up at political rallies here with rifles strapped to their back wearing tee shirts that read from time to time the tree of liberty needs watered with blood; or carrying signs that read this time we came unarmed. Politicians giving voice to the notion that maybe it's time for 2nd ammendment solutions. IMO there is something very unsettling developing in the world.
There was some of that in the first few hours. Then the theme became "free stuff." I saw people of different races and backgrounds come together to loot in harmony.
There was also an immense amount of insurance fraud. A lot of businesses cleared out inventory and torched the place.
And much else. The standard media account only gives you a partial view.
Also, the system didn't fail anyone in particular. The jury actually had the right decision. At the time, the police were very limited in non-lethal force. If you watch the full video, you'll see the police violently attacked, with several being knocked down. It doesn't look good, but the only option they had (short of shooting) was using the check swing with their batons. If you use a full swing, you will shatter bones. I don't know if you've ever handled a baton (I have) but it's not difficult to kill someone with a good swing. It'll shatter a skull, no problem.
But the officers didn't use lethal force and kept using the check swing, which is non-lethal. It was the only option they had. Arguably, it went on longer than it should have.
The problem there was that the DA dropped all the lesser charges and only kept the felonies. That was a tactical mistake. They weren't guilty of the major felonies, but might have been convicted on the lesser charges.
Also, keep in mind that South Central was a pretty lawless place to begin with. Before the riots, I'd hear dozens of gunshots every night, all night. Really bothered me at first, but I eventually learned to sleep through it. Gangs, drug-dealing, prostitutes, etc. were all easily found.
What really stopped the riots was when they shut down the government offices. The riots started on April 29, but stopped around May 1. The first was when welfare benefits were handed out. Everything came to a halt when it became clear that there would be no benefits unless everyone settled down.
I'd classify it as more of a temper tantrum than a serious attempt at political change. There wasn't anyone asking for serious reforms, unlike Tunisia and Egypt. It was more about getting a free TV set, cartons of cigarettes and raiding liquor stores. Then everyone knocked it off when they couldn't pick up a welfare check. I would not call that an effort to change the system.