Tonight (April 29), CNN will air ”THE FIRE STILL BURNS: 30 Years After the LA Riots.”
CNN political commentator Van Jones will moderate the one-hour special, highlighting how today’s racial issues are eerily similar to those that happened three decades ago.
The popular news network promises to investigate how aggressive policing, failing institutions, and deep-seated racism were the driving forces behind the five days of violence and destruction known as the L.A. Riots.
Not only will the program look for solutions on how to avoid repeating this type of history, but Jones will share his own experiences from the polarizing events.
Jones — who was a young law intern in San Francisco at the time — said, “The first time I went to jail was in the aftermath of the Rodney King uprisings.” He continued, “The impact of those days has never left me. It’s a powerful experience to return to the streets 30 years later – and learn what has changed, what hasn’t and why it all happened in the first place.”
The L.A. Riots — also known as the Los Angeles Race Riots — began on April 29, 1992. The incident that sparked the event was when a jury acquitted four Los Angeles police officers after they had been charged with using excessive force, beating Rodney King during an arrest. Once graphic video footage of the blatant attack on the Black man was released to the public, the rest was history.
After almost a week of nonstop chaos, the riots ended once the California National Guard, United States military and other federal law enforcement officials had been dispatched to the area.
Once the smoke cleared, property damage was estimated at nearly $1 billion, over 12,000 people had been arrested, more than 2,000 injuries were reported and 63 people were said to have been killed.
The special will premiere at 11 p.m. ET.