What I Learned About Civil Unrest During The Los Angeles Riots 25 Years Ago

The last 25 years of urban unrest in America, and around the world, show how rapidly domestic tranquility can collapse when law enforcement steps aside or is overwhelmed.

The age of cell phone video ubiquity treats us with daily outrages over people in authority behaving badly towards the powerless. Unreasoned passion leads to a thirst for justice, or at least the appearance of justice.

In 1991, there were no cell-phone cameras and the Internet was still in its infancy. In March of that year, after a high-speed chase through the night, Los Angeles Police Department officers arrested Rodney King. King was intoxicated. He later admitted that he tried to evade the police because a DUI charge would violate his parole conditions for a prior robbery conviction.