Presentation on theme: " Race riots were caused by a vast number of social, political and economic factors. 1. In each of the race riots, with few exceptions, it was white."— Presentation transcript:
Race riots were caused by a vast number of social, political and economic factors. 1. In each of the race riots, with few exceptions, it was white people that sparked the incident by attacking Black people. 2. In the majority of the riots, some extraordinary social condition prevailed at the time of the riot: prewar social changes, wartime mobility, post-war adjustment, or economic depression.
3. The majority of the riots occurred during the hot summer months. 4. Rumor played an extremely important role in causing many riots. Rumors of some criminal activity by Blacks against whites perpetuated the actions of white mobs. 5. The police force, more than any other institution, was invariably involved as a precipitating cause or perpetuating factor in the riots. In almost every one of the riots, the police sided with the attackers, either by actually participating in, or by failing to quell the attack.
August 1965 in L.A. neighborhood of Watts Lasted 6 days with 34 people had killed, 1,032 injured, and 3,952 arrested. Estimated $200 million in damages
LAPD officer pulled over motorist suspected of drunk driving Failed sobriety tests, resisted arrest and when more of family showed up officers arrested them and beat them with batons
Commission studied riots Conclusions: Caused by high jobless rates in the inner city, poor housing and bad schools No efforts to fix these problems Today: Lowest household income in L.A. and nearly 50% of individuals and family below poverty line
April In response to assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. 1,097 injured, and over 6,100 arrested. Damages reached $27 million. This can be estimated to be equivalent to over $156 million today.
March 3, 1991 Los Angeles Pulled over for speeding; led LAPD on a 115 mph chase Resisting arrest, King was shot with a TASER gun and beaten by the officers on scene
Beating was videotaped and sparked outrage - Alleged Racial Profiling and abuse by LAPD At the trial, four officers charged with excessive force were acquitted by a majority white jury
In response to the verdict, riots broke out (April 1992) 53 people died Over $1 BILLION in damages “Can we all just get along?”
Accused of killing Ex-Wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman in 1994 Trial lasted 9 months (longest in Cal. History) Most publicized trial in American history
Crime Scene Blood – contained Simpson’s genetic markers › Blood drops found on bloody shoe prints leading away from two dead bodies › Blood found on a gate at the back of the condominium › Simpson had a cut on his finger when interviewed by police the following day
Bloody shoe prints: The bloody shoe prints matched a size 12 Bruno Magli shoe, a relatively rare Italian-made model. Simpson wears size 12 shoes. Prosecution: tried to place Simpson at the murder scene by showing that Bloomingdale's in New York, where Simpson sometimes shopped, carried such shoes.
Bloody Gloves › Dark, XL leather glove found at murder scene › A 2 nd glove was found behind Simpson’s guest house, near where Kato Kaelin heard bumps in the middle of the night. (Had DNA of all three people, including a strand of blonde hair similar to Mrs. Simpson). › Mrs. Simpson bought OJ two pairs of such gloves in 1990.
Prosecution argued: Simpson lost the left glove at his ex-wife's home during struggle and, in a rush, inadvertently dropped the right glove while trying to hide it Explained that the “evidence” gloves didn't fit Simpson in a courtroom demonstration because the gloves shrunk from being soaked in blood and Simpson had rubber gloves on underneath.
Violent past: Through 911 calls to police and testimony, prosecutors allege a history of Simpson hitting, degrading and stalking Ms. Simpson. Prosecution: pointed to motive, showing Simpson was prone to jealous rages and capable of hurting his ex-wife; suggested Goldman died because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and Simpson may have seen him as a potential suitor.
Defense team argued that Simpson was a victim of police fraud by the LAPD Argued that lead detective Mark Fuhrman had planted evidence at the crime scene including the famous “bloody glove” “If the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”
Johnny Cochran played on confirmed racist beliefs of Fuhrman › Tape recordings of Fuhrman repeatedly using “N” word Played on “repeated” mistreatments and profiling by LAPD (remember Rodney King) police officers put on 12-hour shifts, and a line of over 100 police officers on horseback surrounded the L.A. county courthouse on the day of the verdict, in case of rioting
The Jury By Race: 9 Blacks, 1 Hispanic, 2 Whites in Criminal Case Not Guilty on all accounts Civil Trial: Jury by Race: 9 Whites, 1 Black, 1 Hispanic, 1 Asian Found Guilty and ordered to pay $33.5 million to the families of the victims
Verdict Right Verdict Wrong No Opinion Total 47% 44% 9% Whites 42% 49% 9% Blacks 78% 10% 12% Oct. 5-7, 1995 Gallup Poll Simpson: Criminal Trial Verdict
Definitely 36% Probably 38% Probably Not 15% Definitely Not 6% No Opinion 6% 1999 Gallup Poll Did Simpson commit murder?