Riots, arson and looting rocked Los Angeles after a jury acquitted four white policemen in the violent beating of a black motorist, Rodney King. At least 37 people were killed and hundreds arrested in the riots, the worst violence the city had seen since the 1965 Watts riots. Racial violence occurred in other cities, including Poughkeepsie, where a crowd of 350 vandalized storefronts, overturned at least one car and fired guns.

“People are horrified by the verdict in Los Angeles, which very quickly reveals the racial divisions in this city that we know so well,” said the Rev. David Toomey of Christ Episcopal Church.  At Vassar, “interested students discussed the riots freely, and often heatedly,” though a few students embarked on “a righteous crusade to glue door locks and scrawl messages across campus.”     The Poughkeepsie Journal, The Miscellany News