PJMedia's resident police expert - Jack Dunphy - explains what he learned in L.A. in 1992.
And wishes Baltimore learned the same lesson.
If there was a lesson the LAPD learned in 1992, it is that if you do not respond decisively to lawlessness, you will quickly have much more of it. That lesson was learned the hard way, when timid police supervisors (one of them in particular most egregiously) failed to act when violence first flared near the intersection of Florence and Normandie Avenues. I would argue that had the LAPD responded as it should have in those first hours of the riot, much of the devastation and loss of life that followed could have been averted. Proof of this came in the following months when a number of incidents in South Los Angeles threatened to break out into rioting but were quelled with a swift and sure response by police.