Tuesday, December 12

The Los Angeles Riots April 30, 1992-Day #2

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It is 6:00 pm and I am starting ‘B watch” working a twelve hour shift.  “I didn’t think it was possible, but more buildings look like they are on fire,” I said to a group of Officers heading out of the station to go home.  “Yeah, have a good time,” shouted a buddy of mine sounding exhausted.  People are using the dark of night to come out, loot, and wreak havoc on the city so we teamed up and hit the streets.

“Our assignment is to assist other units already at a Grocery store, which is on fire and a crowd of people looting,” said a Detective I was working with.  “Come on let’s go,” he shouted walking towards our patrol car.  Our squad left the station and arrived ten minutes later at the Grocery store.  We took up a position in the parking lot to try to keep the mob away from the store.  I could see people running in and out of the store through all the broken front windows not even caring that the Police were there.  The building is starting to engulf in flames and I could not help myself, but I just stood there starring as if I was watching a horror movie.  All of a sudden, a loud explosion shook the ground and everyone fell down, “KA-BOOM!”  Something in the alleyway at the back of the store blew up and a large mushroom fire cloud rose into the sky.  As the cloud grew larger, it began swallowing everything insight, including the parking lot.  As I got up and ran for cover, as did everyone, smoke and debris rained down on us.

After clearing that Grocery store location, we were traveling on Pico Boulevard, “There is a man yelling for help,” the driver Officer said,” so we pulled over to assist him.  A Pawnshop was on fire but the scary thing was that the top part of the building was a two story apartment complex, “There are people still inside,” the man shouted.  We quickly exited our cars and helped dozens of people to safety.  During our rescue, another man found a garden hose so he and I started to try to put out the pawnshop fire.  Together he and I held the hose and sprayed the water through the front door.  To our surprise, something inside the shop exploded blowing out every window in the building and knocking both of us off our feet and onto our backs.  Once the shock wore off, the man and I looked at each other, “Let’s get the &$#!@ out of here,” he shouted.  “I agree with you,” I yelped brushing out the fire burns on my uniform.  We both ran from the front of the building.  I felt bad that I never was able to thank that man for helping me.  “Everyone is out of the building,” shouted an Officer, “Let’s go!”

We continued our patrol for the rest of the night.  We patrolled part of Korea town and there I saw many business owners with weapons standing in front and on top of their stores, shops and buildings trying to protect them from looters and angry mobs.  Gun battles and shootouts erupted everywhere as crowds would try to loot or burn a business.  “Looks like they got this area protected very well,” I said.

Our squad received the assignment to investigate one of the shootings.  When we arrived, we found four people shot, wounded and one dead.  The surviving driver told us they were driving down the street when all of a sudden for no reason, several men from the top of a building opened fire on them with automatic weapons.

As medical personnel attended the wounded victims, I along with other Officers climbed onto the building where the gunfire was said to have come from.  “Look at all the empty bullet casings on the roof,” one Officer, pointed out.  “Yeah, looks like a %$#@ war zone,” another Officer replied.  I noticed a small door that lead into the building so I opened it and saw six men around a table and each man had a rifle or an automatic weapon next to him.  We apprehended all of the men, brought them to the station and questioned them about the incident. I never did find out what the outcome was.

It was a very busy rest of the night and we continued to patrol the streets, trying to protect people and property until the end of our shift.           

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