“I Gotta Feeling” by Black Eyed Peas

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April 29, 1992 — The Rodney King trial verdict results in widespread rioting in LA

It’s hard not to think that something may have gone wrong with the American justice system at times. For example, when several police officers (Stacey Koon, Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind, Theodore Briseno, and Rolando Solano) are caught on video beating a suspect, when those same police officers are later heard boasting about the injuries they dealt out, well, you’d expect that convicting them of the crimes that they very clearly committed would be a straightforward matter.

Unless, of course, all the cops were white while the suspect was black. Unless the jury consists of ten whites, an Asian and a Hispanic. Unless the trial is held in a jurisdiction notably more conservative than the one where these events took place. Then the complete acquittal of all four officers should be expected as a matter of course, because as we all know, justice is less important than the good name of the Los Angeles Police Department, and anyway, Rodney King must have had it coming, right?

So later that day, after the verdict is announced, these same police officers and jurors claiming to be stunned that anyone could possibly disagree with the verdict is completely believable. If you’re an idiot, that is.

The riots in Los Angeles (which lasted a week and caused 53 deaths, a thousand injuries, somewhere in the region of a billion dollars worth of property damages and kicked off sympathetic riots in other cities), while not in any way justifiable, were certainly both an understandable and a predictable response.

Los Angeles Riots, 1992 (17094267471).jpg
By Ricky BonillaLos Angeles Riots, 1992, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

As mentioned in:

Riot — 2 Chainz
Anger — Downset
Race War — Ice-T
I Wanna Riot — Rancid
Rioting — The Rugburns
Disorder — Slayer & Ice-T
Polaroid Baby — Bratmobile
Objection Overruled — Accept
Livin’ on the Edge — Aerosmith
Say Goodbye — Black Eyed Peas
Shock to the System — Billy Idol
Don’t Pray on Me — Bad Religion
April 29, 1992 (Miami) — Sublime
Porno for Pyros — Porno for Pyros
Black Girlfriend — Porno for Pyros
Never can say Goodbye — The Game
Simi Valley Blues — Branford Marsalis
Black Tie White Noise — David Bowie
Forgotten (Lost Angels) — Lamb of God
The Day tha Niggaz Took Over — Dr. Dre
Peace in L.A. — Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Township Rebellion — Rage Against the Machine
We Had to Tear This Motherfucka Up — Ice Cube
Stuck Between a Rock and a White Face — One Minute Silence