Criminal Justice: 1992

Printer-friendly versionSend by email

Robert Alton Harris is the first person to be executed in California since 1967.

A jury in Simi Valley finds all four officers charged with crimes related to the beating of Rodney King not guilty of all charges. Riots erupt in Los Angeles lasting 3 days, resulting in 58 deaths, more than 2,300 people injured, and property damage of approximately $800 million. An independent commission, headed by former FBI and CIA Director William Webster, investigating the riots concludes that the police department’s slow response to the violence was attributable “first and foremost to the performance of the chief of police and his command staff.”

Los Angeles voters amend the city charter to adopt the reforms recommended by the Christopher Commission, including limiting a police chief’s tenure and creating a system to track problem officers.

Officers accused of beating Rodney King are tried in federal court for violating King’s civil rights. Two are found guilty.