The Conversation: Todd Boyd on the L.A. Riots

Eighteen years after violence in the streets, could it happen again?

April 30, 2010— -- Eighteen years ago this month, violence erupted in the streets of Los Angeles after four white police officers were acquitted of beating African-American Rodney King.

The 1992 riots continued for days after the verdict, resulting in more than 50 deaths, thousands of injuries and untold damage to property. Officials called in thousands of police officers and military personnel to restore order.

Nearly two decades later, though, professor Todd Boyd says, much of the underlying racial tension that fueled anger during the riots still exists. Boyd arrived in Los Angeles shortly after the 1992 riots to join the faculty at the University of Southern California, where he teaches race and U.S. culture.

What underlying factors led to the violence in the streets nearly 20 years ago, and could similar riots happen again in Los Angeles or another U.S. city? Boyd and ABC News' John Berman talk about that and more in today's Conversation.