The Democracy Journal
Search Site
Get Involved
This form does not yet contain any fields.
    Support the PJRC

    Support the PJRC for continued original analysis on ending the wars, funding domestic priorities and preserving civil liberties.

    Make a contribution to benefit the PJRC now! 

    Conferences & Events

    Tom Hayden speaks in Port Huron, MI, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Port Huron Statement.

    Invite Tom Hayden to speak in your town! 



    Follow Tom


    Contact Us
    This form does not yet contain any fields.

      The Inconvenient Truths of South Central 1992

      For the true history of Los Angeles gang truces and police reform, please see Street Wars by Tom Hayden.Most of the widespread commemorative discussion of South Central’s 1992 has missed three very important lessons:

      First, the Crips-Bloods truce occurred before the April 29 Simi Valley not-guilty verdicts in the Rodney King beating case. Helped along by Jim Brown, as many as 200 young men boarded buses and traveled to City Hall, where they testified to a nervous City Council that they were trying to end their feud, and asked for city resources to rebuild the communities they had damaged. The Council brushed them off. On the following day, April 29, the upheaval began after the jury verdicts came down. At the time, the LAPD falsely accused street gangs for causing the rebellion, a claim refuted in Lou Cannon’s book several years later. It became illegitimate for city officials to work with gang members or reforming gang members, at the very moment that a historic gang peace process needed to be nourished.

      Second, America’s urban policy agenda shifted to private market-driven notions in place of government-sponsored programs, and the corporate agenda ended in utter failure without the slightest public reflection. “Rebuild LA” was launched by Republican Orange County businessman Peter Ueberroth with the state goals of $6 billion in private investment in South Central, and 74,000 new jobs, in five years. The privatization scheme closed its doors two years later. Instead of 50,000 new jobs in rebuilding, South Central lost a net 55,000 jobs between 1992 and 1999. The promised $6 billion in new investment turned out to be $389 million five years later, most of it outside the riot-zone.

      Third, despite the abandonment by city developers, the gang truce resulted in a reduction in South Central homicides from 466 in 1992 to 223 by 1998. As it was forgotten, a new cycle of violence began. Sixteen years later, on February 13, 2008, the City Council and Mayor acted to adopt a community-based intervention model for curbing gang violence, drafted with the input of many survivors of 1992.

      PrintView Printer Friendly Version

      EmailEmail Article to Friend

      References (1)

      References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
      • Response
        The riots and rebellion after the Rodney King beating exposed evils deeply rooted in the structures of this society. They were a reaction not only to the police beating of one more black man. They demonstrate that police abuse and urban issues like equal access to public resources, including transportation and ...

      Reader Comments

      There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

      PostPost a New Comment

      Enter your information below to add a new comment.
      Author Email (optional):
      Author URL (optional):
      All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.