A look back at the LA Race Riots, a trucker beating and the heroes who came to his aid
April 29, 2012
Last week marked the 20th anniversary of an ugly event in American history -- the LA race riots.
One of the most riveting and horrific scenes of those riots was the live televised sight of a truck driver being pulled from the cab of his truck and brutally beaten, nearly to death.
The riots were triggered by not-guilty verdicts in the racially charged trial of the police beating of Rodney King. Six days of rioting left dozens dead and thousands injured. A jury with no black members had acquitted four police officers in the videotaped beating of King, a black man stopped for speeding nearly 14 months before.
Reginald Denny was driving for Transit Mixed Concrete Co. not after that verdict was handed down on April 29, 1992, when he had the bad fortune to be at the intersection of Florence and Normandie in south Los Angeles, where a liquor store was being looted. He stopped to avoid running over someone and was dragged from his truck. One attacker smashed in his head with a brick; another stepped on his head afterward. By the end of the attack, Denny's skull was in more than 90 pieces.
You can see a clip of that terrible attack in this video of an interview with Titus Murphy, one of Denny's rescuers: