'Let It Fall' premiere held at California African American Museum in Exposition Park

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The documentary "Let It Fall" takes a hard look at the L.A. riots of 1992, but to tell the whole story, the film first takes viewers back to 1982.

The documentary "Let It Fall" takes a hard look at the L.A. riots of 1992, but to tell the whole story, the film first takes viewers back to 1982.

In the film, we see racial tensions rising a decade before so much anger and fear boiled over onto our streets with devastating results.

It all followed the not-guilty verdicts in the L.A. police beating of Rodney King, as well as the beating of truck driver Reginal Denny.

Unbelievable images from that time show mayhem unfolding in the streets of Los Angeles - a city under fire by some of its own people.

Twenty-five years after this devastating moment in L.A. history, filmmaker John Ridley helps tell a story he's wanted to tell for a decade.

"I want people to understand consequences. There were any number of people who made choices, who made decisions that, in the moment, may not have had a huge effect, but there was a cascade effect," Ridley said at the film's premiere Tuesday at the California African American Museum in Exposition Park.

Ridley said it was not the film's job to place blame.

"It was not our job or our desire to exonerate individuals or indict individuals but say, 'look, there is a space to tell your story," Ridley said.

Film producer Jeanmarie Condon echoed Ridley's sentiment, adding that she and others who worked on the documentary wanted everyone to be able to talk about what their reality was at the time.

"I think when you do that, you get a better sense of why human beings do what they do under pressure," Condon said.

The Los Angeles Police Department's chief at the time, Daryl Gates, comes under fire in the film from one of his police lieutenants, who says Gates failed the citizens of Los Angeles on the night of the uprising.

"He let us down. He wasn't there. He was at a fundraiser. He was sucking down margaritas trying to defeat Proposition 6, which was the term limits on the chief of police that would have put him out of a job shortly. That's how much he cared about the city," said retired Lt. Michael Moulin.

One person who came to see "Let It Fall" was protesting at Parker Center following the verdict in the King case. Mark Craig's image made the cover of "Newsweek."

"That was the only day that I was not afraid to die and I had just served in war less than a year previously. But that night, there were several of us that, we weren't afraid to die that night," Craig said. "Because we were fighting for a cause."

"Let It Fall" will play at the Music Hall theater in Beverly Hills for one week beginning Friday. A shorter broadcast version will air on ABC April 28.

ABC7's Marc Brown appears briefly in the film, seen in archival footage from when he covered the story.
Related Topics:
entertainment1992 LA riotsmoviehistorylapdviolencemovie premiereLos Angeles
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