Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Annotated Bibliography

Annotated Bibliography
Baldassare, Mark. The Los Angeles Riots: Lessons for the Urban Future. Boulder, Colorado: West View Press Inc., 1994.
This book offers solutions to correct the underlying problems between minorities, namely blacks in Los Angeles and the LAPD. It analyzes the problems within Los Angels and offers suggestions to correct and respond to unemployment and violence. It discusses racial tensions in twentieth-century urban America and addresses three main questions: what were the causes of the riots, what actually took place, and what are the consequences and meaning of the riots for U.S. cities. This source will provide me with information on the anger of racial minorities who had long criticized the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) for its use of excessive force against minorities.
I will be able to articulate the problems people have had with the LAPD, discuss the causes of the riots, and why Los Angeles had such distinct, segregated communities. I will also be able to discuss the escalating resentment within blacks toward the LAPD, and one possible theory that when these sentiments had mounted to a certain point, blacks that were unemployed had nothing to lose in starting the riots. This book will help me understand the current, urban environment.

Cannon, Lou. Official Negligence: How Rodney King and the Riots Changed Los Angeles and the LAPD. Boulder, Colorado: West View Press Inc., 1999.
Official Negligence discusses the significantly and overwhelmingly warped public perception of the Rodney King affair broadcasting the worst riots in recent history. It describes the transformation from the beginnings of the LAPD and how it was molded into the elite law enforcement agency in the world and how it is often glamorized. This book also provides information of the Rodney King incident describing what happened and why. It describes how the media distorted the event cautioning against media's often superficial and overly simplified reporting of major news events. It discusses California’s roots and how it seen as the “Great Gatsby of American Cities” talking of its potential and Los Angeles’s more specifically. Official Negligence mentions the similarities and differences between the McCone commission, written about the Watts riot and the Warren Christopher commission written about the Los Angeles 1992 riots.
I will be able to use this source as a broad overview of many different points I would like to bring up in my paper. I will briefly talk about California’s roots and the how the LAPD is often glorified. I will be able to compare and contrast the McCone commission and Warren Christopher commission and assert that the McCone commission did indeed warn that unless the underlying problems of unemployment and lack of jobs were corrected, these riots would happen again, and they did. The Warren Christopher commission observes that the people do have justifiable reason to fear the LAPD and the changes that should be made within the department.

Gooding-Williams, Robert. Reading Rodney King/Reading Urban Uprising. New York:Routledge Inc., 1993.
In seventeen essays, social critics explore the connections between the Rodney King incidents--the beating, the trial and what the editor terms the subsequent "uprising"-and conditions in America's cities. One writer finds King's silence during his trial symbolic of the enforced silence of African Americans during the age of slavery. This book argues that the King verdict was not a unique failure of justice.
This source will allow me to talk about how this case by no means is the first in which blacks were stripped of the justice they deserved. Even with blatant evidence of the incident that occurred, justice seemed unobtainable.

Jacobs, Ronald. Race, Media, and the Crisis of Civil Society : From Watts to Rodney King. Cambridge: University Press, 2000.
This book describes how African Americans have turned to black newspapers to monitor the mainstream media and develop alternative interpretations of public events. Jacobs tells the stories of these newspapers--in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles--for the first time, comparing African-American and "mainstream" media coverage of racial crises including the Watts riot, the beating of Rodney King, and the Los Angeles. Jacobs argues that a strong African-American press is still needed today.
In my paper, I will be able to discuss how the media serves as a powerful technology for maintaining the color line. While the African newspapers are shown to be an important opposing voice, we are shown that the major medias perhaps not surprisingly distort the large debate of racial justice underscoring such crises as the Watts Riot and the 1992 L.A Riots.
Knight, Alfred. The Life of the Law: The People and Cases that Have Shaped Our Society, from King Alfred to Rodney King . New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1996.
This book provides information on understanding of the law and the tradition of the American legal system. Each chapter is about a different legal principle. Knight examines the history of each principle and presents the idea that the history of the law as it is known today evolved from many lawyers, judges and juries redefining the law to fit new problems. In this book, Knight concludes that in the U.S. Supreme Court there is no straight line of constitutional progress.
I could possibly use this source to reference the legal aspects of the Rodney King case and the different interpretations of the law over the years.

Knight, Alfred. The Life of the Law: The People and Cases that Have Shaped Our Society, from King Alfred to Rodney King . New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1996.
This book provides information on understanding of the law and the tradition of the American legal system. Each chapter is about a different legal principle. Knight examines the history of each principle and presents the idea that the history of the law as it is known today evolved from many lawyers, judges and juries redefining the law to fit new problems. In this book, Knight concludes that in the U.S. Supreme Court there is no straight line of constitutional progress.
I could possibly use this source to reference the legal aspects of the Rodney King case and the different interpretations of the law over the years.
Koon, Stacey. Presumed Guilty : The Tragedy of the Rodney King Affair. Los Angeles:Regnery Publishing, 1992.
The author, a Los Angeles police sergeant, gives his first-hand opinion of the action leading up to the beating, describing the events leading up to the managed and controlled use of force that made Rodney King, a a household name. He persuades the reader to believe that King was just another criminal, a drunk driver who fled from the police and was beaten not because he was black but because he resisted arrest. He tries to convey the idea that the real crime, apart from those committed by King, appears to be the biased reporting by the media.
I will be able to use this source to cite a head police officer’s attempt to make seem what was completely inexcusable, justified. Basically, this book shows Koon refusing to take responsibility for his own actions. It is a 200 page excuse for something that was completely wrong. What is unbelievable is that he has people believing that the beating was justified and that the viewers were not willing to listen to the other side of the story, as if the LAPD had been victimized. Even if the three second segment from the tape broadcasted on television was included and the context explained in a light favorable to the police, the tape depicts a brutal incident. This book is Koon’s attempt to capitalize on his criminal activity.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Description of Watts Riot

People's History
pg 337
"...the black ghetto in Watts, Los Angeles, erupted in the most violent urban outbreak since World War II. It was provoked by the forcible arrest of a young Negro driver, the clubbing of a bystander by police, the seizure of a young black woman falsely accused of spitting on the police. There was rioting in the streets, looting and firebombing of stores. Police and National Guardsmen were called in; they used their guns. Thirty-four people were killed, most of them black, hundreds injured, four thousand arrested."

Excerpts from OFFICIAL NEGLIGENCE

Different ideas/topics to possibly include

MAIN TOPIC/Thesis --->The McCone Commission/McCone Revisited from the Watts Riot predicts/warns that unless the socio-economic conditions causing the riots (also focus on this in paper) are addressed (poverty, unjust behavior by LAPD towards the black community, unemployment, lack of jobs) this will happen again. Little to nothing was corrected and the riots did happen again in 1992 when people around the world were in shcok after viewing the beating of Rodney King.
pg 18 "The neglected "McCone Revisited" report had addressed this issue in 1985. While the report took note of programs designed to improve community relations and the recruitment of minority police officers, it found that "the issue of equitable law enforcement continues to be one of the contentious and serious problems for residents of South Central Los Angeles.""
...""McCone Revisited" was a valuable and distant warning of the troubled situation in South Central, had anyone in authority chose to heed it."
pg xxi "By understanding the causes of the King case and the riots, we may improve our chances of avoiding another descent in the chaos that gripped Los Angeles during five terrifying spring days in 1992. That is the purpose of this book."


-Warren Christopher Commission on the LA Riots
pg 144 "In its totality... The accumulation of data, interviews, and analyses made a case that minorities and, indeed, ordinary citizens of any race or ethnic group had reason to fear the police who were supposed to serve and protect them. The commission had examined the LAPD culture and found it inadequate for a modern, multiethnic society. Most important, the report outlined the path to a more accessible police force, one that would abandon the Dragnet Legacy, respect the people of Los Angeles, and observe their constitutional rights."

-Comparison of the two Commissions
pg 142 "The McCone Commission report had analyzed the social conditions that formed the context of the riot while saying little about why the police were so unpopular in Watts. The Christopher Commission report focused almost entirely upon the LAPD and made 130 recommendations designed to improve the practices and policies of the department."

-no improvements made since the Watts riot
pg 123 "Nothing had been done since McCone to improve relations between the LAPD and the black community."

-California/Los Angeles seen as a place of dreams
pg 8 "Los Angeles envisioned itself, then externalized that vision through sheer force of will, springing from a platonic conception of itself, the Great Gatsby of American Cities"
pg 19 "California was still a place of dreams"

-LAPD is Glamorized
have idea that they are the most elite (connect this idea to California and Los Angeles bullet point)
pg 72 "From the moment you enter the LAPD academy, you're taught that you are the elite of the law enforcement community. You're the best of the best."
pg xx "The LAPD's critics sometimes accused it of harsh treament of criminal suspects and minorities, but few of them questioned its competence and professionalism."
pg xx "...political leaders of Los Angeles had insisted on equipping LAPD officers with bone-breaking metal batons even though they knew that use of these crude weapons was producing a mounting toll of serious injuries."
---> were given basic and inadequate training
Why did they think it was necessary for the LAPD to have posession of these weapons?
--------------------> DRAGNET TV show in the 50's
pg 61 "captured the public imagination and glorified the LAPD"
Parker, ((primary source quote))
"Dragnet was one of the great instruments to give the people of the United States a picture of the policeman as he really is. It was most authentic. We participated in the editing of the scripts and in their filming...This program showed the true portrait of the policeman as a hard-working, selfless man, willing to go out and brave all sorts of hazards and work long hours to protect the community."

-injustice/the reasons/causes for the blacks to riot
pg 18 "Blacks, particularly young males, complained that they were often stopped by police and ""proned out""
"Such indignities had been a prelude to the Watts Riot. "
"many blacks were convinced that they were persistently mistreated by police officers of all races"
pg 584 "Many blacks believe that there was nothing unusual about the Rodney King case except that the videotape caught police in the act of accusing a black man. Basing their assumptions on the edited videotape, many assumed that the evidence was powerful enough to overcome the prejudice of those who would never take a black man's word against a white officer. When it did not turn out that way, it seemed to blacks as if justice were unobtainable. This feeling fueled black rage."
"But the riots, like the videotaped beating of Rodney King, did not occur in a social vacuum. They occurred in an area of Los Angeles where an enormous pool of unemployed and underemployed black youths was availabe to riot"
"a small army of jobless youths were available to participate. Decades of decline had brought this jobless army into being."
"...spurred by revenge, liquor, and greed"

-media coverage and distorion of footage (should I even bring this topic up in my paper?)
A three second segment of King charging at a police officer was edited from the tape that was aired internationally
pg 24 "Even if the missing three seconds are included and the context explained in a light favorable to the police, the videotape depicts a brutal incident."
pg 23 "we edit tape so we get the most dramatic footage that tells the story"

I will also describe the actual events/happenings of both the Watts Riot and the LA Riots

Monday, April 10, 2006

narrowing down topic

I am planning to compare the reports of the Watts Riots with the Warren Christopher reports on the riots that happened after the Rodney King beating.

http://www.usc.edu/isd/archives/la/watts.html
"After the Watts riots, then Governor Pat Brown named John McCone to head a commission to study the riots. The report issued by the Commission concluded that the riots weren't the act of thugs, but rather symptomatic of much deeper problems: the high jobless rate in the inner city, poor housing, bad schools. Although the problems were clearly pointed out in the report, no great effort was made to address them, or to rebuild what had been destroyed in the riots."

Underlying causes of the 1992 Riots

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1992_Los_Angeles_riots
In addition to the immediate trigger of the Rodney King verdict, there were many other factors cited as reasons for the unrest, including: the extremely high unemployment among residents of South Los Angeles, which had been hit very hard by the nation-wide recession; a long-standing perception that the LAPD engaged in racial profiling and used excessive force, supported by the Christopher Commission, an investigation led by Warren Christopher

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Race, Media, and the Crisis of Civil Society : From Watts to Rodney King.

Book Description:
Since the early nineteenth century, African-Americans have turned to Black newspapers to monitor the mainstream media and to develop alternative interpretations of public events. Ronald Jacobs tells the stories of these newspapers--in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles--for the first time, comparing African-American and "mainstream" media coverage of racial crises such as the Watts riot, the beating of Rodney King, the Los Angeles uprisings and the O. J. Simpson trial.

-media serves as a powerful technology for maintaing the color line

Official Negligence: How Rodney King and the Riots Changed Los Angeles and the LAPD

- describes the transformation from the beginnings of the LAPD and how it was molded into the elite law enforcement agency in the world
-provides information of the Rodney King incident describing what happened and why
-describes how the media distorted the event
-cautions against media's often superficial and overly simplified reporting of major news events

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

http://www.jstor.org/view/00029602/dm992750/99p0237q/1?frame=noframe&userID=windwarddemo@demo.jstor.org/01cc99333c00501cca73e&dpi=3&config=jstor

-this source discusses how the the rodney king riots were covered by different newspapers and their approaches to covering the story. It gives facts about the case and links similar events to this one

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

No Way to Delay, Trouble in LA

http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0094-3061%28199407%2923%3A4%3C475%3ANWTDTI%3E2.0.CO%3B2-4
-
-People's perception of LAPD changed after the beating
-John McCone examined law enforcement in Los Angeles and found "a deep and long standing schism between a substantial portion of the negro community and the Police Department"

Monday, March 06, 2006

1992 Los Angeles Riots 1st proposal

I am interested in researching the Rodney King Riots for my paper. I am going to describe the event, indictment, prosecution, verdict, and aftermath. I will mainly focus on and discuss the cultural impact this had on society.

Rodney King Riots

I am interested in researching the Rodney King Riots for my paper. I am going to briefly describe the event and mainly focus on the reaction of the African American community and the aftermath.