It was an outcome seemingly no one expected: four Los Angeles Police Department officers found not guilty of assault in the beating of a black motorist, Rodney King.
The attack on King, recorded on a camcorder in 1991, was not unique in terms of the way LAPD interacted with the city’s black residents. Accusations of police brutality had dogged the department for years. What was different was that the assault on King was captured—and replayed over and over on television sets across the country.
The verdict would mark a tipping point for the city of LA, where racial tensions were already at a boiling point. Five days of protests and violence followed, with then-President George Bush calling in the U.S. military to help quell the crisis.
Tomorrow marks the 25th anniversary of that infamous verdict—and the uproar that followed it. In this series of videos, Fusion takes a look back at how much has changed since then—and what hasn’t.