L.A. Riots: 5 Most Disturbing Videos on YouTube
While we were talking to LA Weekly photographer Ted Soqui about his coverage of the L.A. Riots, he mentioned that he'd only recently realized how much riot footage was up on YouTube.
"I didn't get to see much live TV coverage because I was either shooting or processing; I was in a bubble with my photos," said Soqui. But on this 20th anniversary, in preparation for a speech/slideshow at the Los Angeles Central Library, he said, "I ended up watching hours of stuff on YouTube. And I'm like, 'Wow, I never saw that.'" So we did the same...
... and, sure enough, came across all this crazy footage that we had never even thought to search for. As if '92 was before the invention of moving pictures, or something.
In fact, the aftermath of the Rodney King beating was really the start of accountability via YouTube. "There had been number of cases of LAPD brutality earlier, but here you have a case finally on videotape," says Darnell Hunt, UCLA expert on the Riots. Like, "Finally, people will listen to us."
With that, here are the five most disturbing riot-related videos we found on YouTube.
Many of the shops targeted by looters were located within Koreatown and nearby neighborhoods like East Hollywood, owned by working-class businesspeople within the growing Korean-American community. Here, we see them patrolling their rooftops at the corner of Santa Monica and Western with guns -- part castle guard, part sniper.
LA Weekly's Dennis Romero recently interviewed a Korean-American reporter who was working for the Los Angeles Times when the riots broke out. It appeared to him that the LAPD was using the bad blood between blacks and Koreans to distract the public from the department's own racism. TV news footage like the clip above only furthered that cause.
And here's a guy who actually begins shooting his gun at random.