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LA Riots Anniversary Study

On April 29, 1992, three white and one Latino police officers were acquitted by a majority white jury for the beating of African American motorist Rodney King. Situated at the beginning of the 1990’s recession, gang violence in the City of LA was already at a high, and with the added fuel of these and other racially charged events, the LA Riots broke out soon after the verdict was read. During the week-long Riots, more than 50 people were killed and over 1,000 buildings devastated, resulting in nearly a billion dollars of damage. Many wondered how these Riots would affect future quality of life. Race relations in LA could no longer be ignored.

In observance of each of the 5, 10, 15, and 20 year anniversaries of the LA Riots, the Center for the Study of LA sponsored cross-sectional phone surveys of Angelenos to study their attitudes toward Los Angeles. The 1992 LA Riots had a profound impact on nearly every aspect of Los Angeles, from government and community relations to quality of life to demographics. In a longitudinal effort to learn more about this impact, the Center conducted surveys in 1997, 2002, 2007, and 2012. 

25th Year Anniversary Pilot Study

In preparation for the 25th anniversary of the LA Riots and in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Watts Riots, the Center conducted a pilot study of 50 adults 65 and older in the city of Los Angeles. This pilot study aimed to understand generational differences in attitudes towards riots and race relations in the city of Los Angeles.

50th Anniversary of the Watts Riots Pilot Study 

20th Year Anniversary Resident Survey

On February 1, 2012 through March 2, 2012, the Center conducted a cross-sectional phone survey a survey of 1,605 randomly selected and ethnically represented residents (approximately 400 white, 400 black, 400 Latino, and 400 Korean) in the city of Los Angeles. The survey took an average time of 18 minutes to complete and was conducted in English, Spanish, and Korean.  With fifty survey items, the 20th Anniversary Study provided data in six main categories: 1) race/ethnic relations; 2) riot activity; 3) government/community relations; 4) current events/ ballot measures; 5) social class and the American Dream; and 6) demographics.

Riot-related Survey Results Non-riot-related Survey Results

15th Year Anniversary Resident Survey

The 2007 survey was conducted by phone to 1,651 randomly and ethnically represented Los Angeles residents, with a margin of error of +/-3%. 15th Year Survey Results

10th Year Anniversary Resident Survey 

To continue their cross-sectional analysis of the LA Riots, the 2002 survey was conducted by phone to randomly and ethnically represented Los Angeles residents. 10th Year Survey Results

5th Year Anniversary Resident Survey

Five years after the LA Riots, the Center wanted to learn more about how LA residents were getting along. The 1997 survey was conducted by phone to randomly and ethnically represented Los Angeles residents. 5th Year Survey Results