Watts riots

The Watts Riot, which raged for six days and resulted in more than forty million dollars worth of property damage, was both the largest and costliest urban rebellion of the Civil Rights era. The riot spurred from an incident on August 11, when Marquette Frye, a young African American motorist, was pulled over and arrested by Lee W. Minikus, a white California Highway Patrolman, for suspicion of driving while intoxicated. As a crowd on onlookers gathered at the scene of Frye's arrest, strained tensions between police officers and the crowd erupted in a violent exchange.

Watts riots

Marks I cannot tell a lie, this piece has been published before in a couple of different places. Nonetheless, it has a lot of personal meaning for me, Watts riots well the larger societal context.

It is the chant shouted by people as the city burns. The spark that sets off the riots is a black man being stopped for a traffic ticket. Long-simmering frustration boils over and the city ignites.

Thirty-four people are killed, a thousand-plus are wounded and almost four thousand arrested. Tensions in Los Angeles are as high as the smoke rising from the smoldering city streets. Los Angeles is burning. Another motorist is stopped for speeding and evading the police.

His beatdown is caught on video: The cops accused of beating Rodney King are acquitted. People pour into the streets. Twenty-three hundred injured and sixteen-hundred buildings damaged or destroyed. I remember the smoke, the fear permeating every quarter of the city.

During the Watts Riots, we were lucky to be able to watch it on TV and not be in the middle of it. My then-girlfriend's cousin was a National Guardsman assigned to patrol Watts during the riots and what he saw was so horrible he would never talk about it.

But I have a different memory of Watts. It isn't of the riots, but occurred during another hot summer, not long after. I met a boy named Walter in class.

Unlike everyone else in the class and just about everyone in the school, he was black. And he wasn't a local, but was on some kind of student exchange program from Jordan High in Watts. I'm sure we were as much a curiosity to him as he was to us. After all, we were the privileged white kids and he was the angry young black man.

Only he didn't seem angry. He seemed like just another nice guy with glasses. He invited a group of us to come down and see where he lived: A word that sent shivers down a lot of Angelinos' spines in those days.

We were a little apprehensive about going down there, especially as Walter had told us to come in the crappiest cars we had. No shiny new cars. There were six or eight teenaged boys and girls in our little caravan of two crappy cars.

But crappy in our neighborhood meant something different than it did in Walter's. Our caravan weaved its way through the Los Angeles streets until we were just about the only white faces to be seen. This park is in the heart of South Central and I can say that all of our hearts were beating faster than normal.It was Aug.

11, , that Los Angeles police officer Lee Minikus tried to arrest Marquette Frye for driving drunk in the city’s Watts neighborhood—an event that led to one of the most.

Watts riots

The curious thing about riots is that they tend to erupt around a chance moment -- a perceived threat, a lone miscarriage of justice, one arrest too many, or a single act of violence freighted.

The Watts Riots began on the evening of August 11, Near Watts, a Black resident flagged down a white officer and told him that a man had drove by recklessly. The white officer pulled over the car that he had been told about on th and Avalon, an area Southwest of Watts. Watts Riots Background: The Watts Riot, which raged for six days and resulted in more than forty million dollars worth of property damage, was both the largest and .

Aug 11,  · The Watts riots unleashed that fury, he says, and also changed his life. He became a community organizer and helped found the Watts Summer Festival, which he has guided for 39 years. He is now The Watts riot was the worst urban riot in 20 years and foreshadowed the many rebellions to occur in ensuing years during the Detroit Riots, the Newark Riots, and other violence.

SleuthSayers: The Watts Riots, Rodney King and Me