Los Angeles News Service v. Reuters Television International, Ltd.

340 F.3d 926 (9th Cir. 2003), cert. denied, 541 U.S. 1041 (2004)

Reginald Denny.

On April 29, 1992, sparked by the acquittal of four police officers charged with using excessive force against Rodney King, the 1992 Los Angeles riots lasted for over four days, caused the deaths of 53 people, caused almost $1 billion in damage from over 600 fires and resulted in over 10,000 arrests. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) found itself so overwhelmed that 10,000 troops from the California National Guard were deployed.

The verdicts were announced at 3:15pm, and the first signs of rioting erupted three hours later. Around 6:45, Reginald Denny was pulled from his truck and severely beaten, pictured, by several members of a crowd that had gathered at the intersection of Florence and Normandie. Seeing this broadcast live on television, several individuals, including Bobby Green, left their nearby homes, pulled Reginald from the crowd and drove him to the hospital, thereby saving his life.

At a later trial, most of those charged with assaulting Denny were acquitted of most charges, although one man, Damian Williams, pictured above with arms raised, was found guilty and sentenced to ten years. After the verdict, Denny moved away from Los Angeles to escape media attention. He currently resides in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.

In the aftermath of the riots, a commission was formed and was led by Warren Christopher. They released a report that contained recommendations on reforming the LAPD. Unfortunately, as the later CRASH scandal revealed, most of these recommendations were ignored. Change finally began brought to the LAPD after Chief William Bratton implemented a Federal consent decree in 2002.