LA 92 Review - Graphic, Brutal, Shocking Footage of LA Riots

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

LA 92, the National Geographic documentary, is one of four films that have been released on the Rodney King verdict and subsequent violence that erupted almost immediately and continued over a three-day period in April 1992.

Directed by Academy award winning directors Dan Lindsay and TJ Martin and Lightbox Entertainment, LA 92 presents an up close and personal account of what has become known as the Rodney King Riots, staring at the verdict, at the very courthouse in Simi Valley, spilling over into the streets of South Central, and tracking the fires, looted business, and killings over a three-day time.

The 25th Anniversary of the LA Riots sparked over the acquittal of four officers who were videotaped beating an African American, shocked the nation, and every politician and law enforcement official in Los Angeles, and California, also denounced the verdict.

What followed made the world wonder if it was injustice, if the videotape was only the end result of rage that was not captured. To understand race in Los Angeles, the directors provided the history of the Watts riots some twenty-seven years previous.

Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982 –1992 Review – Poignant Interviews and News Footage Personalize Shocking Documentary

LA 92 remains a calm account, really, until the verdict, when an insidious spirit came upon the crowd, and the injustice of Latasha Harlins, no jail time for the convicted killer a Korean store owner in South Central who believed Harlins was shoplifting Orange Juice to this the Verdict which proved to the people that police brutality was allowed. It was too much, and too soon between these troubling events.

Which is when LA 92 becomes a gritty, graphic, brutal presentation. There is no voice over distracting viewers from the actual events, only shocked accounts from news crews and anchors as live footage, which had been broadcast to the world, as mobs ripped open car doors, pelted automobiles with bricks and cement blocks, forcing people to run for their lives.

Archival news footage Peter Jennings, Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, the national news voices at the time, the local news crews, which networks sent women into angry mobs expecting the "weaker" or softer gender to produce calm, a distraction, which was ludicrous as the situation was out of control and the documentary shows that extent of societal degradation.

The documentary also  presents grievous time lapses by Daryl Gates, LA's top cop at the time, former Mayor Tom Bradley, Los Angeles Mayor, the first African American Mayor of any major city and California Governor Pete Wilson.

The wait and see approach before calling in the National Guard was a mistake. A stronger military presence would have cut down on damages and deaths.

I received a "not cleared for broadcast" screening link and so some footage may not be included in the cable airing. The footage, captured by news crews, news copters, and others who braved streets, escalating violence and quickly deteriorating civility became the first hand account, and possibly the only memory ever, of South Central.

Africa's Hunters – Graphic New Streaming Smithsonian Earth Series Follows Wildlife in Zambia's Luangwa Valley

What is shown simply leaves one wondering, as the mob takes over, if those active killers who responded to the Rodney King verdict with a violence begets violence attitude, who took to the streets, targeting motorists at random, becoming savage taking on the personality of a rabid animal, enacting a violent tribal response to a killing of one of their own, where death and nearly instantaneous orders that those white boys who passed by a particular South Central intersection would be "fucked up" expected to be heard and treated with civility allowing leaders within the community to rationalize the violence?

What follows is the degeneration of society where one time neighbors became animalistic, using their vehicles as weapons disabling passing white and Korean motorists, setting up the kill, dragging owners from damaged vehicles, pulverizing, beating, lynch mobs who stopped short of stringing the whites up by a noose.

The violence that spilled over portrayed a people who had been teetering on the edge of this catastrophe for some time, the Watts Riots of 1965, may have been thirty years before and still the ingrained belief of injustice, was the finger on the trigger, just waiting for the moment.

The outcry of injustice was justified the violence was not. I wondered as I watched those incited the violence, those men who have aged 25 years, and now sitting in some lazy boy lounge chair watching the riot tapes replay, do the stand up and cheer at their actions, has time soften the hatred and or the belief that white people are the problem, and the root cause of every problem the black man has faced in his entire life, while taking no responsibility for his own actions?

The recent Black Lives Matter movement, has ignited the same root in the hearts of the people. Injustice is more than difficult to understand, injustice can be incapacitating, as shocking as violence, stifling, and choking, and injustice often comes from those who have pledged allegiance, a loyalty, to uphold impartiality.

During grave times of injustice understanding the motivation is impossible, the blindness of the injury is the red flag waved in front of the bull and honestly the tool to have society remember only the actions of the violent.

Reinforcing the stereotype is the easiest path to negating the initial injustice. Which is what we see in LA 92, the violent, uncontrollable, African Americans became a mob of vicious, brutal, killers, unable to control or calm themselves. So much so the police were withdrawn, fearing for the safety of the officers, and allowing the world to see anarchy in action.

Seeing the documentary now, still creates the innate fear that at a moment's notice the widespread race hate will boil over and spill once again into the streets and as happenstance would have it two paths, the white and negro meet.

Watching men, who twenty-five years later are watching themselves as part of the aggressor, do they see their actions with a small hidden pride?

Can they own their actions, now 25 years later? Can they stand up and say to neighbors at the bar-b-que, "Oh I was there" or as they swap stories of that night or those days do they soften or as time often does smooth the rough edges off their actions that left many dead, injured and homes, business, lives burned looted and destroyed or do they let the moment and memory pass?

LA 92 ends with a city divided; a community burned and a people determined to work through the horrific violence and begin the clean up. Led by native East Los Angeles actor James Edward Olmos, members of the Hispanic community came together along with truckloads of concerned neighbors. The Korean community, targeted, during those days also came together in the same community with a silent, demonstration of peace. Thousands from the Asian community showed up with signs, silently sitting, voicing their opinion, belief and support.

LA 92 is a must see film. Be prepared to be riveted, as the troubling events unfold.

LA 92 premiered recently at the Tribeca Film Festival Following the premiere at Tribeca, the film will complete a multi-city screening tour including Baltimore; Charlotte; St. Louis; Washington, D.C.; and Atlanta.  

Additionally, a limited theatrical release in New York and Los Angeles begins Friday, April 28, and LA 92 makes its television broadcast debut on National Geographic on Sunday, April 30, at 9:00pm/8:00pm (c) and will also air globally in 171 countries and 45 languages.

Haute Tease

  • Leftovers Review – Shocking Statistics, One of the Most Important Documentaries of 2017

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Leftovers, from Uncorked Entertainment, presents a shocking and informative documentary detailing, from the wealthiest American neighborhoods to the poorest, the plague of senior hunger and how organizations are combating the astonishing wasteful practices in food production.

     
  • Victoria & Abdul Review – Dame Judi Dench and Company Present Perfection

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Victoria & Abdul, from Focus Features and Working Title Films, presents a little known season in Queen Victoria’s reign when she challenged and angered those around her by learning, living and loving and refusing to go quietly into the night.

     
  • Fiji’s Hidden Paradise Restored: Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Announces September Grand Reopening

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort one of the most renowned vacation destinations in the South Pacific, offering spectacular ecological exploration, understated natural luxury, and warm hospitality in the traditional Fijian style, has announced its grand reopening scheduled September 1, 2016.

     
  • Top Retailers Join No Kid Hungry Campaign With Gift For Gift Donations

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    As friends and families gather to celebrate the holiday season, Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry® campaign invites holiday shoppers to remember the one in six children suffering from hunger by purchasing gifts that support the effort to end childhood hunger in America.

     
  • Battle Los Angeles: A Gritty, Sci-Fi, War Drama

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    BATTLE LOS ANGELES, the Sci-fi war drama, from Sony Pictures Entertainment/Columbia Pictures and in association with Relativity Media, brings to the screen a gritty portrayal of combat shy Marines facing hostile invasion and sure annihilation.

     
  • Charlie Hebdo, The Survivor’s Edition, Has Hit Newsstands

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Charlie Hebdo, the survivor's edition, has hit newsstands and for the once struggling newspaper, the irony isn't lost on the remaining staff that buckled down, reminiscent of September 11 New York scribes, who through the tears remained true to the calling.

     
  • HL Cable, TV, Streaming: Best HBO Shows

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    HBO has offered top-notch television for decades, bringing audiences into stories of everything from romantic escapades in New York City to mobsters in New Jersey.  

  • AMOUR, from 2012 Cannes Palm d’Or Winner Michael Haneke, with poignant realism, tells the story of life, love and death

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    AMOUR from, two-time Palm d’Or winner, Director Michael Haneke recently premiered to a sold out audience at the AFI Film Festival in Hollywood, California.

     
  • London Based Echo Products Review – Always Charged, Always Connected, Always Cool

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Echo Products, from the London based Technology Company and newest British invasion, has finally created a line of very cool, ultra-sleek, distinctive looking collectible and portable power docking stations for Apple and Android Products.

     
  • President Carter Reveals Brain Cancer; Teaches Sunday Message to Standing Room Crowd

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Former President of the United States, James Earl “Jimmy” Carter, Jr., has announced he has been diagnosed with cancer that has spread to his brain, the 39th President has undergone radiation and other traditional forms of cancer treatment.

     
  • Billy Graham, Christian Evangelist, Has Died

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Reverend Billy Graham, the Christian Evangelist who for more than fifty years preached the same message of God's Love and Redemption to President's, royalty and the world, often drawing millions in his global crusades has died. He was 99.

     
  • Beltway Insider: ISIL /ISIS Beheads US Journalist; Ferguson Unrest; Renewed Russia/Ukraine Violence

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama, from Martha's Vineyard, addressed global tensions erupting in the Ukraine and in Iraq as ISIS terrorist's responded to the current United States Iraq policy with the murder of kidnapped journalist James Foley in a graphic and chilling video.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Obama Pitches Economic Plan; U.S. Nears War with Syria; Egypt’s Mubarak Released; Violence Continues

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama continued to pitch his economic recovery plan to jaded Americans who are giving the new plan and the President, the lowest approval rating he has received his five years of leadership.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Obama/Putin Square off; Italy/Quakes; French/Immigrants; Spain Refuses; Hillary E-blasted; HL Op-Ed

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama, with one week before his successor is elected, has announced ObamaCare premiums will increase by 25%, dealing a harsh blow to the people and causing the smooth sailing democratic boat to hit white water.

     
  • Paris Fashion Week: Ziad Nakad, Spring/Summer 2019 Collection – Dazzling, Sexy, Ultra Glamorous

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Spring Summer 2019 Haute Couture collection from Ziad Nakad magically transforms into a constellation of delicate, bold, intoxicating, evening gowns, with gleaming silvers and shimmering gold patterns blending celestial designs with starry night patterns.