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tv   Second Look  FOX  May 10, 2015 11:00pm-11:31pm PDT

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tonight on a second look. the rodney king verdict and the l.a. riots in 1992. >> flames and violence have erupted in south central in the not guilty verdict in the rodney king trial. a verdict that even the men of los angeles condemned. tonight flames are visible in several areas as entire buildings burn fiercely. the results of fire bombs from
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crowds. and tom bradley asked governor wilson to send in the national guard. >> hello everyone and welcome to second look. i'm frank somerville. the protests that happened last week come from many years ago. the grainy video included indisputable proof of police brutality. >> reporter: it began with a 100-mile an hour chase according to the highway patrol and ended with los angeles police officers beating clubbing and stomping on the head of a 25-year-old black man, rodney king. >> he was lying face down, spread out. and when he was in that position then they started hitting him. at that point he got up and
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tried to get away that's when i got out with a camera and started filming. >> reporter: witnesses including the man who shot this video tape says king who was booked for speeding and avoiding arrest offered no resistance. they said the beating went on for more than a minute. >> i was just amazed of what was happening. i was thinking what in the heck could he have done to deserve such punishment. >> reporter: one section shows rodney king rising from the pavement and turning toward police before being beaten -p down. then the camera briefly goes out of focus. >> they beat where it hurt. in my ankles. they beat my whole body where it hurt. >> the wire connected to rodney king indicates police also used a taser gun. a device that shocks suspects into submission. police batons kept swinging as at least 10 officers stood and watched. los angeles mayor tom bradley a former police officer says he
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is outraged. >> this is something which we cannot and will not tolerate shocked. shocked and worried. real scared. really scared. i am just glad i am not dead. because they could have easily killed me when they put me in the car. >> reporter: the beating is nothing new say protesters. that it's part of brutal racism in the police department. >> the incident early sunday morning is not an isolatedded incident. the difference this time is we have the proof. >> there appears to be a war here. a war from the police department on our community and people who react like this are animals. >> reporter: the police chief said it was not the norm. >> i would hope the public would not make up their mind about the los angeles police department. we don't train our officers to
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do this sort of thing and lastly we do not tolerate. >> reporter: the case of the four officers took months to go to trial. the venue for the trial was moved from los angeles to semi valley in ventura county. then in 1992 the verdict came in. and this is a look at our coverage on that historic day. four white police officers were found not guilty by the jury of 11 whiles and four philipino. and tonight buildings burn. according to a spokesman for the mayor it appeared the situation was escalating beyond local officers could contain. he has asked that 2,000 national card troops be sent in. the governor has granted that request. the violence began almost immediately after the jury
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returned its verdict. looters ransacked a building at will pausing only to indescriminently. tonight four to five fires are burning but that could go higher. the four l.a. police officers acquitted today were found not guilty despite the fact that the beating of rodney king were found on tape. many people who saw that video felt there was no question about the guilt of the officers. many people still feel that way. they face a barrage of verbal assaults. the first was stacy coon the
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day rodney king was beaten. -- the first was stacy coon, the officer seen on the video tape on the day that rodney king was beaten. >> the third defendant seen leaving court today was rookie police officer timothy gwen. >> i said move. >> get out of the way. >> move. i said move your cameras. >> reporter: although the majority of those outside the courthouse today disagreed with the verdict, some felt the use of force by the officers was justified. strong emotions felt by people on both sides of this case are illustrated by this exchange outside the courtroom shortly after the verdict. >> there was no justice. they said nothing about no
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alcohol. no nothing. >> if it was one of their police. >> police are out there. today's verdict shocked and surprised many people including rodney king. although he was the central figure in this case king himself was never called to testify. king's attorney have now filed a multi million dollars lawsuit. king talked to his client today. he said king was outraged that when king heard the verdict he couldn't believe it. >> as long as the situation is allowed to exist it's going to happen again and again and again and it's got to stop. this is not the end of it. >> it sends a bad message. it says it's okay to beat
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somebody when they're down and beat the crap out of it. and if a brother officer does turn you in, we will get white jurors and don't worry you will walk. >> i know i was innocent and that's the verdict. >> i think we were able to do what we set out to do. get the jr.s to look at this case not through the eye of a camera. not through the eye of an amateur video but through the eyes of the officers that were confronting this situation. still ahead on a second look. >> suddenly the mood turned angry and panicky as people heard gunshots. police arrested three korean men who allegedly fired shots in the air to scare people away from the korean owned stores. and caught up in that
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violence, a truck driver. >> and the truck driver's only mistake was entering this street. terrible, terrible.
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welcome back to a second look. tonight the 1992 l.a. riots that followed the beating and acquittal in the case of rodney king. with looters stealing from looters and people taking the law into their own hands as police were completely outnumbered. on the second night of rioting, we have our own report. john fowler caught the fires while lloyd lacuesta was caught in the middle of it all. >> many fires north of the santa monica freeway. this is hollywood boulevard. deserts as looters ransacked stores and went empty and then torched them. these questions went live on
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kttv at 7:30. tony valdez described the scene. >> this fire has been going this way for half an hour. units just got here about 20 minutes ago and they're going to go to work on this. the boulevard is in shambling. >> reporter: a small shopping center burned fiercely. flames threatened a gun store two doors away and police tried in vain to keep people away. looters had had their way in large areas in the city. the looting itself sparking violence. chris blachford witnessed these scenes. >> right in front of us. someone running away with it. sharp tv set. a woman with hands full of clothing. two women that look like sisters almost. >> he just hit that woman. >> a man just hit a woman and took what she had. he was carrying a boxed tv set. two women get out of a van.
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hit the guy and take his tv set. three men in the front of that truck just laughing after they got back in the truck and driving off with a tv set that they stole from another looter. >> many people today took the law into their own hands. this man perched like a sniper on the roof of a store seemed to be shooting at looters. we don't know if he hit anyone. the violence is breeding more violence. south central los angeles was under siege today. fires, rioting, looting, and all with anger at the police who were trying to restore order. police tried to move a crowd back from a fallen electrical wire. the crowd responded by heading to a supermarket and looting
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it. >> it's terrible. and there's, i had so many lovely friends. >> reporter: police moved in. but it was too late. the store was trashed, the looters gone. >> this is un, this is uncivilized. it is. they are just crazy. it seems like it's a party. and it's not. and it's terrible. >> reporter: but as police lined up in front of the supermarket. the looters ran across the street and broke into a thrifties drugstore. >> what other way is there? when you go to court you lose. >> police are coming in. this is a complete an that --
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complete anarchy. they're moving to a third store. >> this means too much democracy. this means people they don't know what the hell they're doing. they try to prove -- most of them look. they're young society. it's the youth. it's the future of america. >> throughout all of this we have now seen a fourth store being looted. police have moved in but they have yet to make any arrests at all. they seem to just be letting people do what they want. >> it's just very frustrating. right now we're not making any arrests. what we're basically doing is moving them out of the area. but as soon as we leave the area they move right back in. suddenly the mood turned ugly and panicky as people heard gunshots. police arrested three korean
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man who had shot a gun in the air to scare people away from the korean market. >> i'm numb. i'm numb. i'm very numb. all i can do is drive this morning looking straight. i'm very numb. >> reporter: tonight hundreds are asking when will it end. >> the riots would continue for four days in all. when we come back on a second look. a savage beating caught on live television. >> also ahead an unapologetic los angeles police chief responds to critics who say he was late to respond to all the rioting. >> in retrospect. that's exactly what we should have done. we should have blown some heads off.
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♪ ♪ ♪
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welcome back to a second look. the beating of rodney king and
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the not guilty conviction of four police officers sparked protests. and the beating of a innocent truck driver is still hard to watch. >> terrible, terrible. and there's no police presence in here. they will not enter the area. he is bleeding unconscious in the street. they're picking his pockets now. >> reporter: more than two weeks after reginald denny was beaten, four men were brought into custody. >> he's the one that took the
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break when mr. denny was on his ground on his knees and was raising his hands for help. i wanted very much to personally arrest him. >> reporter: chief gates identified all of those arrested as members or associates of the kreups. one of the l.a.'s most notorious street gangs. he said 20-year-old antoine miller pulled miller from his truck when the riots began and later looted daryl's belongings. and gary williams is accused of putting his foot on gary's head while the others beat him. the beating of the 36-year-old white trucker became a symbol of police paralysis. los angeles police were very anxious to make these arrests.
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>> we're very pleased to make these arrests. so, we're hopeful that at least this will will alone for some of that in bringing -- will atone for some of that bringing these very vicious criminals from being prosecuted. >> reporter: after seeing the arrest, if they got the right guys good for them. i have no anger no hostility. i just want to be left alone. my biggest goal is to go home and be a dad to my kid. >> when we come back, the rodney king case threw them into the spotlight. what happened after the rodney king trial ended and the officers were retried.
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after four days of riots the damage in life and property was enormous. the death toll varied by some accounts 53 people were killed other says that number was 58.
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some died in fires at least seven were killed by law enforcement officers. some were good samaritans who helped to help others. others were caught working . the committee found gates was ill prepare, slow to dispatch his forces and slow to call in help from other law enforcement agencies. gates was unapologetic. >> we should have gown there and blown a few heads off. maybe that would have stopped everything. >> reporter: in all some 2,000 people were injured. more than 1,100 buildings were damaged. and property damage was estimated at $1 billion. the four officers were tried in federal court on civil rights charges. two were found brake -- they
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were found guilty. griffith reported on what became of the main figures. >> reporter: rodney king says he still believes something good came from his ordeal. >> it has shined the light on police brutality. before when you went to work they were like i'm going to go kick somebody's today. so i hope i caught somebody in a bad situation or breaking the law. because i'm going to beat in a big way. i think that attitude has changed. >> reporter: in the years following the riots, king received three years probation for a dui arrest. was acquitted last year of spousal abuse but convicted of hit-and-run stemming from a fight with his estranged wife. daryl gates retired in disgrace in 1992 vilifieded for allegedly waiting too long to send help into south central. he tried talk radio for a while and continues to speak out in
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radio and tv interviews. i think history is going to remember me as not doing a job that should have been done. that hurts me at florence and normandi. daryl was taken out of his truck and beaten almost to death while television broadcasted it live. >> he's beaten almost unconscious on the street. >> do you have any idea the number of bones in your face that were broken. >> surgeons tell me it was over 90. probably in the neighborhood of nine #. >> reporter: three of denny's attackers got probation. one went to prison for the attack. denny himself now lives in seclusion. his $40 million lawsuit against l.a. police for waiting too long to help him was dismissed. as for stacy coon bazino and nguyen, powell went to prison
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and now works as handyman. he has no kind words for rodney king and until this day says he was training to do what he was to do and that king was resisting. briseno and nguyen did not go to court but were released. coon wrote a book about the ordeal. in june of 2012, rodney king was found dead at the bottom of his pool in southern california. the coroner ruled his death an accidental drowning. king was only 47 years old. until his death, king carried physical scars from the beaten and walked with a limp. the year he died he told reporters that people mocked him for calling for an end to all the violence. he said that they treated him like he was a fool for
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believing in peace. >> i just want to say, can we all get along. can we get along. can we stop making it horrible for the older people and the kids. i can understand the first upset for the first two hours after the verdict, but to go on to keep going on like this and to see the security guard shot on the ground, is, it's just not right. it's just not right. because those people will never go home to their families again. and i mean, please, we can get along here. >> reporter: and while he said he would always be seen as a poster child for police brutality. he tried to use that as a positive force for healing and restraint. and that's it for this
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week's second look. i'm frank somerville. see you again next week.
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(clink) if i could just have everybody'sal quick. um, on this wonderful occasion-- our daughter leaving tomorrow for college... (mitchell) oh. if i could get everyone to raise their glass as i quote from one of our nation's great fathers-- jefferson. george jefferson. "i never dreamed that one of my own "would be going off to a university, "but here i stand, a proud black man, knowing that all those hours i put in at the dry cleaner--" phil. not now, weezie. where was i? quoting that president. okay, if she's the future of america, we should start using chinese money now. (scoffs) we already are. my arm is tired. to haley. to haley! (glasses clink) and before everyone puts their glasses down, uh, uh, we're also very proud of lily. tomorrow is her first day of kindergarten. to lily. (gloria) oh, lily. (phil) to lily. to lily. and you'll be impressed to know that she's gonna be one of the smartest girls there. lily, sweetie, what's the square root of 64? 8.


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