L.A. Riots Timeline: Looking Back 15 Years

ByABC News
April 29, 2007, 5:58 PM

April 29, 2007 — -- Fifteen years ago, riots broke out in Los Angeles after four police officers -- accused of attacking black motorist Rodney King -- were aquitted in court.

Here is a timeline on the events, beginning with the King incident:

March 3, 1991 - Rodney King leads California High Patrol officers on a high-speed chase. Once stopped, King is pulled from the car and beat with a baton.

March 4, 1991 - Footage of the beating airs on television news programs worldwide. The next day, four officers are charged with assault and the use of excessive force.

March 26, 1991 - The officers enter a plea of "not guilty."

April 29, 1992 - More than a year later, the trial concludes and a white jury acquits the officers. A group gathers at the intersection of Florence and Normandie Avenues in Los Angeles. Police retreat from the scene. A white truck driver, Reginald Denny, stops at a traffic light at the intersection. He is dragged from his vehicle and beaten by a group of black gang members. The whole scene is broadcast live thanks to news helicopters hovering overhead. Arsonists torch buildings and looting begins.

April 30, 1992 - Open gun battles occur as shop owners defend themselves from the looters. LA Mayor Tom Bradley declares a state of emergency and imposes a curfew. The National Guard is deployed.

May 1, 1992 - Rodney King goes on television and famously asks, "Can we get along?" That night President Bush addresses the nation from the Oval Office and outlines the federal response to the riots.

May 2, 1992 - Thousands of soldiers and Marines are deployed to disperse the crowds. LA begins to quiet down.

May 4, 1992 - Mayor Bradley lifts the curfew. Random incidents of violence continue, but the worst of the riots is over.

May 9, 1992 - Federal troops stand down.