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Latest In Los Angeles, the Ghosts of Rodney King and Watts Rise Again

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The parallels are easy to see: looting and destruction, fueled by anger over police abuses; shopkeepers, with long guns, protecting their businesses.

This time, the faces of the protesters are more diverse — black, white, Latino, Asian; there has been little if any racially motivated violence among Angelenos; and the geography of the chaos is very different, with protesters bringing their message to Los Angeles’ largely white and rich Westside.

Los Angeles, in many ways, is America’s reference point for urban racial unrest, including the Watts riots in 1965 and the uprising in 1992.

The Rodney King beating in 1991, captured on film, was one of the first viral videos of a black man being abused by the police, before cellphones even existed.

But the mayhem largely stayed in the historically black community of South Los Angeles and in Koreatown.

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