Photojournalism in Koreatown during the 1992 LA Riots

In April of 1992, riots sparked by racial inequality and police brutality broke out in South Central Los Angeles, leading to widespread looting, vandalism, violence, and murder. In this video, former LA Times photojournalist Hyungwon Kang recounts his experiences covering the riots behind the lens, and shares the stories behind his incredible images. I should note that some images in the video contain scenes of gore/death and may be disturbing to watch.

Residents fight fire with a water hose from an apartment building during the third night of the Los Angeles Riots in Koreatown, Los Angeles

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Photography by Hyungwon Kang. Video Editing by Jillian Kitchener. (April 27, 2012)

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4 Comments

"Racial inequality..."? I was there (here) and I am a racial minority. All I saw were burning and looted business and thugs running the streets for three days. But fine, I guess we'll just call it "racial inequality" and feel good about our progressive-selves.

The underlying issues that sparked the riots were in fact police brutality and racial inequality. The crimes committed aren't necessarily the result, but the riot itself was a reaction to the police being once again cleared of any wrong doing when the victim was black. That was clearly racial inequality and police brutality. There were a whole lot of opportunistic white people looting stuff too, but that doesn't change the cause of the riot or the prevailing inequities that were present in the years before (as well as now). I don't think that anyone, progressive or not, is going to feel good about this event or for recognizing the cause of it. If you want to ignore it, and enough people do the same, then don't be surprised when it happens again.

Typo in title. Should be Koleatown.

Wow. In a story dealing with racial injustice we get a racist troll to unintentionally prove the point that race is still an issue.