04/25/2012 01:30 pm ET Updated Jun 25, 2012

L.A. Riots: 20 Years After The Unrest | Neon Tommy

On April 29, 1992, a county clerk in a Simi Valley courthouse read the verdict deciding the fate of four officers accused of brutally beating Rodney King a year earlier. All four were acquitted. Within hours, South Central Los Angeles was on fire.

Riots, violence and looting continued for days throughout the city, On the third day, the man whose suffering had started it all appealed to the masses by way of a cluster of reporters. His voice shaking, starting and stopping, he asked simply, "Can we all get along?"

As the smoke began to clear, the city asked itself that question and began to assess the damage. Fifty-four people were dead, with another 2,400 injured. Some 3,000 businesses were vandalized or destroyed.