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A peaceful protest at Kent State University in Ohio turned deadly when the state’s National Guard opened fire on May 4, 1970. The demonstrators were protesting President Richard Nixon’s April 30 announcement of a U.S. military campaign in Cambodia at a time when the public was already questioning American actions in Vietnam.
Nixon's announcement had been followed by days of protests in Kent and violent threats to city officials and businesses, which led to the deployment of the National Guards troops.
National Guardsmen were trying to control protesters on May 4, but they refused to disperse and held their ground. Guardsmen alleged that a sniper had shot at them before 29 troops fired 67 rounds in 13 seconds at the protesters. Four people were killed and nine others wounded. The sniper allegation has yet to be proven.
The acquittal of four LAPD officers in the beating of Rodney King on April 24, 1992 sparked racially fueled riots in Los Angeles. The incident, in which the officers tasered King, kicked him in the head, and beat him for over a minute, was caught on camera and widely covered in national media.
Already angered at the beating of King, the acquittal ignited outrage and civil unrest throughout Los Angeles. The National Guard was called in after the televised civil unrest developed into looting, arson and killings for several days. More than 50 people were killed, up to 2,000 were injured, and property damage was estimated at $1 billion in the largest civil disturbances since the 1960s.
Opinion: Backing a militarized police force with civilian soldiers makes a mockery of the right to protest
Two-thirds of the town is now African-American, but its public offices are mainly staffed by Caucasians. Is this common?
Producer Aaron Ernst looks back on an encounter with local police near Ferguson that almost led to his arrest