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Riot Experience

2100 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Backwoods
I have a somewhat different take on the Rodney King riot since I was there in the middle of it and my information comes from experience first hand.
It was wide spread througout the city. Fires were so numerable that the fire department couldn't battle all of them. Not to mention having to work around being attacked while trying to extinguish fires.
I was covering the riot as a photographer and I can tell you people will do what they are going to do regardless of whether or not there is any kind of camera trained on them
I also had do deal with a city wide cloud of smoke from the fires. Not a pleasent experience How many of you have been downwind of a fire pit or Charcoal BBQ and had to move form where you were standing do to the smoke. Imagine this for several days.
The police did not respond as they should have as police chief Gates held them back and wouldn't let them respond. This tactic eventually led to his leaving office.
During a riot it is wise to stay as far away as possible from both the rioters and the police.They are not real friendly with the media during these times.
For safety I stayed in a skid-row hotel in down town Los Angeles. There were several city, county, state and federal buildings about a quarter mile from the hotel I was staying in. All of these builldings received vandal attacks of of varying degree.
The asrrests were so numerous that the city and county courts were running 24 hours a day.The local hospitals were turning people away unless it was life threating condition.
The best tactic has sbeen mentioned several times get away as soon as possible. Lingering is dangerous to you health and well being.
A riot is like a hurricane you will have advance notice how much will vary. Do not wait and see. Do what you need to protect your home and leave. The sooner you leave the fewer the hassles with other evacuees. Take all bug-out gear you can.
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I tried to respond once, but I guess I got 'Censored'...

I was in Whittier, CA. during the Rodney King riots.
About 10 miles north east of Compton and just east of the 605 when all that crap happened.

I can vouch for the LA cops being totally criminal in their actions,
And then cowards when it came to the uprising!
They just bugged out and let the gangs take over!

If the 'Riot' would have been large enough to make it to my neighborhood, I probably would have joined,
And not on the 'Police' side.

Cops are the biggest reason I HATE the bottom 2/3 of California.
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Good Post

Always interesting to hear from someone who's "Been There"

I think it is good to look back and remember. This again affirms that the police are not there to protect you. Personal protection is your responsibility.
What if it's a City-Wide riot and you can't escape, would you go to the sewers for protection?
Although I was downtown at the time of the riot I was working as a freelance photojournalist.
I actually lived over the hill from you in whittier in La Puente, highway 39 north over the hillcvand still north past highway 60 known as the Pomona freeway.
It is true the police will not provide you with much assistance and it becomes a them against us situation. I have beea round enough law enforcement people and there are some nice ones but for the most part they are less than amicable toward you. A lot of them don' like cameras around them.
In a city-wide riot as in any disaster you find a way out of town. Most rioters don't want to detain you as you are considered an enemy to deal with. In other words, "If you are not with us then you are against us".
Yes, they may detain you but if you want to leave try to find a route around them.
Wow, really interesting to hear your experiences jebrown and JeepHammer! Thanks for sharing with us!
What if it's a City-Wide riot and you can't escape, would you go to the sewers for protection?
If you were COMPLETLY surrounded and cut off, going underground (For the short term anyway) might not be a bad idea. If you are in a place where you might have to use this for an option it would maybe be a good idea to have some items in your "Bug Out Bag" that would make it easier to do this. I don't know if I would want to just go down there and wait though. Maybe a good idea to at least keep moving and checking each access point (If possible) as you go along. One problem might be in the case of a storm or other situation which might trap you there with no sure escape route.
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