Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times
April 21, 2012
LAPD Sgt. Rick Arteaga navigates his patrol car along Vermont Avenue. In 1992, the "not guilty" verdicts in the Rodney King case had reached the streets in minutes. Arteaga had never seen anything turn so bad so fast.
People were cursing and shouting at him: "Four hundred years! You¿ve been suppressing us for 400 years!" Arteaga, just 29, was thinking, "What did 400 years have to do with me?" Everything. Because he wore the uniform of a force that had ruled South Los Angeles like an occupying army.