Savage rioting erupted in the Los Angeles Mexican-American community on Friday. One man -- an?
Savage rioting erupted in the Los Angeles Mexican-American community on Friday. One man -- an award-winning journalist -- died in the rioting and 85 people were injured.
The rioting broke out during a rally protesting at the number of Mexican-Americans serving in the Vietnam War. The owner of a liquor store claimed he had been robbed, and when police moved in nearby protesters started throwing stones.
Police re-enforcements were called in to break up the 10,000 to 15,000 people in the rally and to prevent the fighting from spreading. They failed. One group of protesters surged into a nearby street, smashing, burning and looting stores.
The hail of stones was aimed at firemen as well as police. The police retaliated with teargas and baton charges.
The man who died, 42-year-old Ruben Salazar, was hit and killed by a tear gas canister as he crouched in a cafe, police said. Salazar, a former Vietnam correspondent and the news director of a Mexican-American television station, had often written supporting the Mexican-American claims that disproportionate numbers of their community were being drafted into the Vietnam war.
A total of 119 people were arrested during the four-hour riot. Fifteen businesses were burned down and shop windows along a two-mile (three km) street were shattered.