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date: 17 February 2020

Watts Riot.locked

  • Yvette Walker

Extract

The event commonly referred to as the Watts Riot began on 11 August 1965 in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, as a routine traffic stop that catapulted out of control. California Highway Patrolman Lee W. Minikus, a white officer, initially stopped Marquette Frye the driver and his brother both African American young males for erratic driving and then made the determination to arrest Frye for drunken driving People from the neighborhood began to gather and Minikus called for backup officers Frye did not submit to arrest and the officers used their batons and physical force to subdue him Thereafter an altercation broke out between Frye s mother who lived nearby and his brother and they also were arrested Various accounts of police brutality fueled by recent incidents of police misconduct quickly spread throughout the crowd Individuals in the crowd began to respond to the tactics being ...

A version of this article originally appeared in The Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present.

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