Chronology of US race riots

AFP , Tuesday 25 Nov 2014

Renla Session chants during a protest in Detroit in response to the Ferguson grand jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014 (Photo: AP)

A new explosion of violence in the US town of Ferguson, after a grand jury chose not to press charges against a white officer who shot dead a black teen, is just the latest incident of racially-charged mayhem to mark the United States since the 1960s:

- August 11-17, 1965: An identity check by police on two black men in a car sparks the Watts riots in Los Angeles, which leave 34 dead, 1,032 injured and causes more than $40 million worth of damage.
The trouble starts when Marquette Frye and his half-brother are stopped by police and taken in for questioning. Several thousand blacks surround the police station and, after a week of arson and looting, the Watts neighbourhood is all but destroyed.

- July 12-17, 1967: A heated dispute between two white police officers and a black taxi driver sets off rioting in Newark, New Jersey. For five days, in stifling summer heat, rioters wreck the district, leaving 26 dead and 1,500 injured.

- July 23-28, 1967: Race riots in Detroit, Michigan, kill 43 and leave more than 2,000 injured. Trouble spreads to Illinois, North Carolina, Tennessee and Maryland. The death toll in 128 cities nationwide for 1967 is 83 dead.

- April 4-11, 1968: After the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King in Memphis, Tennessee, violence erupts in 125 cities, leaving at least 46 dead and 2,600 injured. In Washington DC, then president Lyndon B. Johnson sends in the 82nd Airborne Division to quell riots.

- May 17-20, 1980: The acquittal of four white police officers in Tampa, Florida, on charges of beating a black motorcyclist to death in December 1979 after he rode through a red light, sets off a wave of violence in Miami's Liberty City, leaving 18 dead and more than 400 injured.

- April 30-May 1, 1992: Riots erupt in Los Angeles, with a toll of 59 dead and more than 2,300 injured. The violence was set off by the acquittal of four white police officers who were filmed beating up a black motorist, Rodney King. Violence also breaks out in Atlanta, California, Las Vegas, New York, San Francisco and San Jose.

- April 9, 2001: Rioting erupts in Cincinnati, Ohio, after the killing of a 19-year-old black, Timothy Thomas, by a white police officer. Thomas is the 15th black victim of police in the city since 1995.
Mayor Charlie Luken lifts a four-night curfew on the city on April 16, after the city's worst rioting in more than 30 years, during which more than 800 people were arrested.

- August 9-19, 2014: Ten days of protests and riots and heavy-handed police tactics in Ferguson, Missouri, after a white officer kills an unarmed black teenager, aspiring college student Michael Brown, 18.  Two federal probes are opened.

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