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  #1  
Old 08-20-2018, 7:12 PM
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Default 1992 Los Angeles Riots

Hello again fellow Calgunners. I have been really interested in documentaries of the Los Angeles Riots of 1992. I work Security for LASD, and I always ask the old timer deputies, sergeants, and even the brass of there stories of the riots. Each story is very different and very interesting. I would love to hear from any of you guys that were there during the riots, any stories that you guys are willing to share. Thanks and look forward to hearing from you guys!
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  #2  
Old 08-22-2018, 10:28 AM
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Here's a thread that I started last year on the 25th anniversary of the riots:

https://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/....php?t=1329139


Here's another from the Survival and Preps forum:

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/a.../t-847226.html
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  #3  
Old 08-22-2018, 10:37 AM
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Awesome, thanks for sharing that post!
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  #4  
Old 08-22-2018, 4:58 PM
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The riot started on Wednesday. I finished the day shift and went home. But, I was recalled to report back to the station at 1800 and worked 12 hour shifts 1800-0600 for 2 weeks without a day off. It was a wild two weeks.

At one of the stores, I saw a guy running away with something in his hand after getting out of a busted store. I could not get close to him, so I threw my Streamlight flashlight at him, and it caught his knee. He fell down and I arrested him. Later I found out he had a pistol in his pocket. I guess it was a cool arrest. I booked him at our mobile booking station and went on to the next one.

I took 3 rolls of photos and it brings back the memory everytime I see the photos.

Last edited by micro911; 08-22-2018 at 8:37 PM..
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Old 08-22-2018, 5:27 PM
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Originally Posted by micro911 View Post
The riot started on Wednesday. I finished the day sheif and went home. But, I was recalled to report back to the station at 1800 and worked 12 hour shifts 1800-0600 for 2 weeks without a day off. It was a wild two weeks.

At one of the stores, I saw a guy running away with something in his hand after getting out of a busted store. I could not get close to him, so I threw my Streamlight flashlight at him, and it caught his knee. He fell down and I arrested him. Later I found out he had a pistol in his pocket. I guess it was a cool arrest. I booked him at our mobile booking station and went on to the next one.

I took 3 rolls of photos and it brings back the memory everytime I see the photos.
Wow super cool story, thanks for sharing! Haha what a great hook, the streamlight! Love it!
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  #6  
Old 08-25-2018, 12:51 PM
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Wow super cool story, thanks for sharing! Haha what a great hook, the streamlight! Love it!
After the Streamlight hit the guy, it fell to the pavement very hard. I thought it was broken, but it still works well to this date.
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  #7  
Old 08-25-2018, 1:52 PM
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My recently-retired LEO partner was a National Guardsman during the riots. I don’t remember most of th details of his deployment other than this one detail: he and the others with him were deployed to handle active looting incidents and, though they had rifles, none of them were provided with ammo. I also remember he described being transported to hot spots in overloaded police cars with guys in gear barely fitting inside (and in some cases unable to even latch the car doors!) while driving helter skelter through the streets littered with all manner of debris and obstructions. Crazy.
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Nehemiah 4:13-18 I stationed the families at our vulnerable spots with their weapons. The men worked in shifts to rebuild our walls; one half worked while the other half guarded. Each of the workers had his weapon either at his side or in his hand while he worked.

Last edited by jsmith8918; 08-25-2018 at 2:19 PM..
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Old 08-25-2018, 2:18 PM
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We lived in Orange County (south of the event), but we were actually camping in Santa Barbara County (north of the riots) when things touched off. Since we were camping, we initially didn’t even know what was going on in the area through which we would have to pass to get back home. I look back on that now and must admit that when we go camping to this day, I do take some supplies that might be necessary to protect my family so as not to be totally cut off while away from home.
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Nehemiah 4:13-18 I stationed the families at our vulnerable spots with their weapons. The men worked in shifts to rebuild our walls; one half worked while the other half guarded. Each of the workers had his weapon either at his side or in his hand while he worked.
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  #9  
Old 08-25-2018, 7:21 PM
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After the Streamlight hit the guy, it fell to the pavement very hard. I thought it was broken, but it still works well to this date.
I love both my Streamlights and my Surefires. Iíve busted out a few windows with my Stinger and my SL has seen a little work too. Still plugging away!

I was still a kid during the riots. I canít even imagine working them right now.
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  #10  
Old 08-25-2018, 8:04 PM
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Having been an Army Reservist before and during the first few years of my LE Career, I always thought of this ridiculous scenario, and I bet it happened to some people:

"Hey, your Reserve unit just called and they need you to report there for riot deployment. Lock up your duty pistol and BUG, turn in your shotgun, patrol rifle, and less lethals. Get out of that uniform and soft armor. Get over there and suit up in BDU's K-Pot, and grab an empty M-16."

Huh??
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Old 08-25-2018, 8:49 PM
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I was still working part time and in school. About the 3rd day I was at my parents home north of L.A. when a car with 4 gangsters pulled in the driveway, and they were looking hard. Our Rottweiler came out barking and they slowly drove back out. I immediately drove home and brought back a Browning Hi-Power with a few mags and a 12 gauge and a box of buckshot. Thankfully they never came back.
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Old 10-19-2018, 3:31 PM
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Well, this maybe a little off topic. I retired from LAPD in 1991, so I wasn't there for the 1992 event. However I was in a National Guard MP company that deployed for the 1965 Watts Riots. We did have loaded M-! rifles for the event. Interesting times.
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  #13  
Old 10-19-2018, 5:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Ricigliano View Post
Having been an Army Reservist before and during the first few years of my LE Career, I always thought of this ridiculous scenario, and I bet it happened to some people:

"Hey, your Reserve unit just called and they need you to report there for riot deployment. Lock up your duty pistol and BUG, turn in your shotgun, patrol rifle, and less lethals. Get out of that uniform and soft armor. Get over there and suit up in BDU's K-Pot, and grab an empty M-16."

Huh??
It did... a buddy of mine who just retired was assigned to PDC during the riots. When his reserve unit called him up he figured that heíd be in the thick of the riots so he talked some serious crap to his custody partners... but then they ended up bivouacked at PDC and he got to watch all his partners get deployed...
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Old 10-19-2018, 6:27 PM
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Netflix has a documentary about the riots. Last year there were some well made documentaries. I was in school full time and had a job after school. My schedule was classes from 7am until 11am, then work until 8pm. After work I would go work out with my buddies. Homework and labs were done in between work and the gym. I had no idea what had happened as I was working the warehouse stock that day. It wasn't until I met my buds at the gym. They told me what was happening. They closed the gym early, I went home to find my mom and dad safe. We were lucky, we did not live near the epicenter. But we worried that our home, neighborhood and business would be looted. We were armed.

I do remember well the national guard being deployed. And yeah, those guys had no ammo. They had what looked like Vietnam era ALICE gear that did not fit. Flack jackets which looked worn beyond use.
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Old 10-19-2018, 6:31 PM
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There might he another one if the dodgers stink it up!
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Old 10-19-2018, 7:06 PM
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Originally Posted by vino68 View Post
Netflix has a documentary about the riots. Last year there were some well made documentaries. I was in school full time and had a job after school. My schedule was classes from 7am until 11am, then work until 8pm. After work I would go work out with my buddies. Homework and labs were done in between work and the gym. I had no idea what had happened as I was working the warehouse stock that day. It wasn't until I met my buds at the gym. They told me what was happening. They closed the gym early, I went home to find my mom and dad safe. We were lucky, we did not live near the epicenter. But we worried that our home, neighborhood and business would be looted. We were armed.

I do remember well the national guard being deployed. And yeah, those guys had no ammo. They had what looked like Vietnam era ALICE gear that did not fit. Flack jackets which looked worn beyond use.
Wow, pretty crazy. I was only six years old during the riots, way too young to remember anything. I watched that documentary on Netflix, it was very well made. Had footage and information I've never seen or heard before. Highly recommend watching it to those who haven't seen it. It's called "LA 92".

Last edited by thehunted777; 10-19-2018 at 7:09 PM..
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Old 10-19-2018, 7:15 PM
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My neighbors littered their front yard with empty boxes of TV and other new appliances. I doubt there was a Walmart sale that week. Most of the people are not even from the riot neighborhoods. They just took advantage of the chaos situation to steal and loot.
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Old 10-19-2018, 7:27 PM
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Originally Posted by jsmith8918 View Post
My recently-retired LEO partner was a National Guardsman during the riots. I donít remember most of th details of his deployment other than this one detail: he and the others with him were deployed to handle active looting incidents and, though they had rifles, none of them were provided with ammo. I also remember he described being transported to hot spots in overloaded police cars with guys in gear barely fitting inside (and in some cases unable to even latch the car doors!) while driving helter skelter through the streets littered with all manner of debris and obstructions. Crazy.
There was a lot to the National Guard ammo issue. I set up a field CP at LACO Fire Station 14 (Normandie Ave and 108th St) using the Washington High School campus across the street as a staging area. The National Guard reported late on the first night. They arrived with rules of engagement that provided they could not directly engage rioters and that they could accept missions from our CP but kept their own command structure.

I felt the need of nature calling while also deliberating a mission for the guardsmen. I walked over to the high school and made use of the facilities. Two of the guard members were there and were talking about their "Barney Fife" bullets. It was real clear their comments were meant for me to overhear. I took the bait and asked about the bullets. They explained to me that the National Guard had suffered a burglary at one of their armories in the past, and that the guard had elected to keep only weapons in their armories for training, along with a security issue of ammunition (two magazines). All of the operational issue of ammunition was centralized at Camp Roberts with the understanding that it could be driven to any location in state where it was needed within the Guard's 24 hour response time. But here was a riot going on in L.A. and no traffic was moving, so the captain divided up the two magazines worth of ammo between his entire unit, leaving each member with one round.

I confronted the captain with this discovery and he assured me that his members were adequately prepared to deploy. I offered him a quantity of .223 ammo from our station supply and he refused, explaining that he could not place .223 ammo in a 5.56 weapon. The end result is that the guard camped out all night at the high school.

I later corresponded with a Army officer who was a student at the Army War College. He wrote a paper for the college summarizing the logistical issues surround the ammunition supply. The National Guard also did an autopsy on the supply problems and replaced the state commander as a result.
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Old 10-19-2018, 7:34 PM
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Originally Posted by thehunted777 View Post
Hello again fellow Calgunners. I have been really interested in documentaries of the Los Angeles Riots of 1992. I work Security for LASD, and I always ask the old timer deputies, sergeants, and even the brass of there stories of the riots. Each story is very different and very interesting. I would love to hear from any of you guys that were there during the riots, any stories that you guys are willing to share. Thanks and look forward to hearing from you guys!
Bryan Suits from KFI was there in the Guard and has some great stories. Google his podcasts.
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Old 10-19-2018, 8:33 PM
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Bryan Suits from KFI was there in the Guard and has some great stories. Google his podcasts.
Awesome, will do. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 10-19-2018, 9:00 PM
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I second the Bryan Suits LA Riots stories. He tends to tell them around the anniversaries. Iirc, he and some fellow guardsmen purchase their own ammo. His story about the 7-11 parking lot turned into temp jail is well worth the listen. And you can tell heís still pissed to this day that while he was guarding the streets of LA his friendly neighbors broke into his apt and still his stuff.
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Old 10-20-2018, 6:07 PM
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I was there with my MP Guard unit from Northern Kalifornia, we road marched down in our HMMWVs. We were issued ammo just outside of LA at the MC airfield. Many of us were LEO in our civilian lives and most of us took a back up gun with us.
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Old 10-20-2018, 7:27 PM
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I was talking at dinner last night about the 1992 riots with my old partner who just retired from LASO. He told me that during the riots, LASO Deputies were kept back in a staging area while hearing radio calls from LAPD and LBPD that they needed help and were either short on ammo or out of ammo. Someone in management finally got there head out of their a@s and finally deployed them to assist. That was in 1992, twenty-six years ago; I wonder how it would be today?
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Old 10-20-2018, 7:51 PM
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I was talking at dinner last night about the 1992 riots with my old partner who just retired from LASO. He told me that during the riots, LASO Deputies were kept back in a staging area while hearing radio calls from LAPD and LBPD that they needed help and were either short on ammo or out of ammo. Someone in management finally got there head out of their a@s and finally deployed them to assist. That was in 1992, twenty-six years ago; I wonder how it would be today?
Wow crazy story, couldn't imagine holding back while hearing other officers who need assistance. I think if the riots happened today, police departments and the military would be much more well equipped and the riots wouldn't last nearly as long.
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Old 10-20-2018, 8:41 PM
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Originally Posted by veeklog View Post
I was talking at dinner last night about the 1992 riots with my old partner who just retired from LASO. He told me that during the riots, LASO Deputies were kept back in a staging area while hearing radio calls from LAPD and LBPD that they needed help and were either short on ammo or out of ammo. Someone in management finally got there head out of their a@s and finally deployed them to assist. That was in 1992, twenty-six years ago; I wonder how it would be today?
That's true. The LASD set up a regional command post at the Carson Station with the objective of managing resources across all of the local Sheriff's Stations and independent PD's.

But it takes some skill, and experience to manage the execution of functions between multiple layers of command. The Carson CP was notable for its efforts to micro-manage functions that were better executed at the station level and also for a very notable communications lag time. In sum, they often tried to currently manage incidents that were long since over. They learned quickly over the span of three days, but a lot of damage was done in the meantime.

In doing the after-action analysis, a lot of the Carson CP decision making was done with the belief some very large incident would present itself and that some resources needed to be held in reserve to address such an incident.
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Old 10-20-2018, 8:59 PM
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Wow crazy story, couldn't imagine holding back while hearing other officers who need assistance. I think if the riots happened today, police departments and the military would be much more well equipped and the riots wouldn't last nearly as long.
I saw the non-action of the local PD in Berkeley and Portland and wonder how a riot like the '92 LA riots or Watts (my dad was in the middle of that one as he worked off Crenshaw) would be handled.
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Old 10-20-2018, 9:06 PM
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Wow crazy story, couldn't imagine holding back while hearing other officers who need assistance. I think if the riots happened today, police departments and the military would be much more well equipped and the riots wouldn't last nearly as long.
There was a disjointed effort to conduct after-action analyses of the riots and the LE/Military responses. Some of the individually prepared reports were quite good, and some were little more than CYA material for the folks involved.

There never was a comprehensive regional level report prepared.

The better of those reports found a common cause for the riots to escalate as quickly as they did. The key factor was the withdrawal of LAPD forces from the 77th Street Station policing area. The watch commander of that station saw the civil unrest developing and formed an opinion that if officers intervened, there would be a need for deadly force. He ordered his officers to withdraw from the field and take refuge in a RTD bus service lot. That withdrawal was also the reason that no assistance was provided to Reginald Denney when he was pulled from his cement truck and beaten.

The LAPD 77th Division is very roughly equivalent in size and community composition to LASD's Lennox and Firestone Stations, and to Inglewood and Compton Police Departments. We killed one young rioter at Lennox Station, and we had one business owner killed by rioters. We had only a handful of buildings damaged. I recall the experience of Firestone, Inglewood and Compton being roughly similar. All of those jurisdictions remained in the field, fully deployed, and had a doctrine of engaging rioters and keeping them moving. In the 77th Division, things were quite different. Fifty seven persons were killed by rioters and more than 1800 structures were damaged. The common belief is that the withdrawal from the field allowed the riots to gain a "critical mass" that led them to grow.

That point has been well made in the Field Operations School that LASD supervisors and most independent PD supervisors go through. LAPD has learned that lesson well and I know their corresponding curricula does the same. We've had some similar mini-riots since that had the potential to grow and they've been pretty effectively responded to. But at the same time, watch commanders of all agencies are under a lot of scrutiny and that can have the effect of causing some to withhold needed action. I'm confident that our LE agencies would respond better to a repeat of the L.A Riots, but I also have to hedge because of this factor.
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