Vigil held to mark 25th anniversary of 1992 Los Angeles riots

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Dozens of people raised their arms high during a candlelight vigil on the corner of Western Avenue and Adams Boulevard to mark the 25th anniversary of the Los Angeles riots.

On April 29, 1992, people rioted all over Los Angeles after the not guilty verdicts were read in the Rodney King beating case. During several days of civil unrest, more than 1,000 buildings were set on fire and 54 people died.

Residents and city leaders remembered the painful chapter in Los Angeles history.

"We have to mark history because of everything that led up to those days and what happened in those days," Mayor Eric Garcetti said.

L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and The Empowerment Congress brought city officials and community leaders together for a "teach-in" to examine lessons learned from the civil unrest.

ABC7 anchor Marc Brown served as moderator during the event.

Brown reported from South Los Angeles in 1992 as buildings burned, businesses were looted and people armed with guns swarmed the streets.

"Here you're watching building after building burn to the ground. No firefighters, no effort to fight it because they just couldn't. People were shooting at the firefighters," he said.

But even though there are still economic issues and other problems some said the community continues to show its resilience.

"Overall, when I look back at the 25 years, what I feel very proud about is the way the community led a lot of the rebuilding," Rep. Karen Bass said.

The event was one of many in recognition of the 25th anniversary.
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