Four Survival Lessons From The 1992 Los Angeles Riots!

1992 Los Angeles Riots

Jeff AndersonThe riots in Los Angeles in 1992, following the infamous Rodney King police use-of-force trial, put us all on notice as to the powder keg we’re living in.

A single court case is enough to send hundreds, even thousands of people into the street looking for violent payback.

And as truck driver Reginald Denny found out during those riots, if you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time wearing the wrong skin color, you could end up beaten within inches of losing your life.

That’s what happened when Denny, a construction truck driver, was nearly beaten to death by four men whose assault was captured by a news helicopter.

Denny learned a powerful lesson that day about how vulnerable he was to attack.

So what can WE learn from the 1992 riots about how to handle sudden mob violence?

Well, I asked Scott Reitz (an LA police officer on the scene during the riot!) about lessons he learned from the encounter and below is my synopsis of what he told me…

Four Survival Lessons From The 1992 LA Riots!

1992 Los Angeles Riots
Would You Have Survived The 1992 L.A. Riots?

Scott ReitzAnyone who was there will tell you that the riots took everybody by surprise in '92.

Remember, this was in an era before social media and smartphones.

It took only hours from the time the verdict was read for Los Angeles to explode into civil unrest and violence.

It was literally overwhelming.

There were fires everywhere.

It was other-worldly.

Remember these riot survival lessons!

Riot Survival Lesson One: When The Rules Are Off, People Will Do Anything

The first thing we can take away from those riots is that when people feel the social mores and rules they obey don’t apply, they will do ANYTHING.

That includes dragging a man out of his truck and beating him nearly to death… just for being white.

If you’re the wrong color in the wrong place at the wrong time, you could DIE, even though you’ve done nothing.

A riot turns your neighbors into MONSTERS who will commit almost any act.

Riot Survival Lesson Two: The Police CAN’T (Or WON’T) Help You!

Another horrifying fact of the LA riots was that a lot of the police simply stayed at the command post.

Police are people too, and they want to save their lives just like you do.

Facing overwhelming odds, they may just choose not to endanger themselves.

Riot Survival Lesson Three: It Will Become WAR Quickly

If you think your neighborhood can’t become a legitimate war zone, think again.

During the LA Riots, the only groups that went out were guys from Metropolitan Division, who ended up in a major firefight at 114th and Central.

It lasted for almost TWO HOURS and was unbelievably intense.

It sounded like Vietnam.

The officers were taking incoming rounds from gang members with stolen guns.

They were using rifles to gun down the cops.

There were literally DOZENS of people armed and firing, shooting transformers and blacking out the city.

Air units couldn’t go up because they would get brought down by small arms fire.

Firefighters who responded were also shot up.

It was total chaos — and it all happened INCREDIBLY QUICKLY.

Riot Survival Lesson Four: PAY ATTENTION

What this all means for you is that you’ve got to keep your ear to the ground.

See what’s going on in terms of news.

Pay close attention to potential issues that could explode into civil unrest.

You can’t afford to ignore current events.

Your knowledge of what is happening out there may be the only advance warning of a riot that you get!

A simple shooting, a court case, or any other flashpoint could be the catalyst that your city requires to become a war zone.

When You've Seen Riots On TV, What Other Dangerous Factors Have You Seen? What Lessons Have You Learned?

Please Leave Your Personal Observations Below Now…

Could YOU Survive A City In Chaos? “Rodney King Riot” Lessons From The LAPD…

Jeff Anderson
Jeff Anderson, Editor

The Los Angeles riots, which took place in 1992 after the infamous Rodney King trial, are one of the best modern-day examples of what mobs of angry citizens can do to innocent people in a riot — such as when truck driver Reginald Denny was dragged from his truck and beaten.

If civil unrest or some other emergency caused a riot to break out where YOU are, would you know what to do?

I talked to veteran LAPD instructor and SWAT operator Scott Reitz recently, about the psychology of mobs in an effort to pin down exactly how you and your family can prepare to protect yourselves during times of civil unrest and here's what he had to say…

The LA Riots: Lessons On How To Survive A City In Chaos


As a member of the LAPD during the 1992 “Rodney King Riots”, one of the interesting things I found was that it all happened within just a matter of hours.

It's pretty amazing when you think about it…

I mean, back then, cell phones weren’t common, and while there sort of was an “internet”, most people didn’t have access to it.

Today, with social media, smartphones, and so forth, that would be a massive accelerant for the message getting out that people are rioting or causing civil unrest or disturbances.

One thing you can be sure of…when civil unrest hits – it will happen almost instantly!

What Widespread Civil Unrest Looks Like In The “Hot Zone”

One of the things about living through a riot was how shocking the transformation of the city was.

When people think the rules don't apply to them, they go absolutely nuts.

It will quickly look like something out of a disaster film and sound like the Vietnam War out your window.

In fact, it was so dangerous during the '92 riots, that even many highly-trained, armed police stayed at the command post when the worst of the fighting broke out.

Those were incoming rounds from gang members (not just one or two, but dozens!) shooting at police from the Projects with rifles.

Power grids failed because transformers were shot out.

Traffic was blocked by abandoned and burning vehicles sending up thick palls of smoke.

It was total chaos.

The lesson here: 911 calls may go unanswered… power (and security systems) may go black… you may have no escape route… and roving gangs of armed anarchists with nothing to lose and no one to answer to could be right out your front door.

How To Prepare For Surviving In A City Locked In Chaos…

Of course the best way to avoid a violent mob is to not be there in the first place, right?

But given how quickly these type of events can flare up, that means that you've got to pay attention to what's going on out there.

You can't afford to be ignorant of current events.

Keep an ear to the rails as to what is happening.

1. Watch Your LOCAL News

National news can give you a “big picture” look at what's happening in the world and across the country.

But for where you live, you're looking for micro-coverage from reporters who know the personality of your town or city.

Tune into your local channels when things look like they're heating up.

2. Watch Social Media

If something nuts is going on in the social or political scene, take a careful assessment of your local “threat matrix” to see if you're in a hot-zone.

(Editor's Note: A good example is if you live near a Mosque when there has been a lot of anti-Muslim rhetoric in your local area and there's a threat of backlash.)

3. Search For “Planned Protests”

If a controversial event has taken place, do an internet search for planned protest events.

Typically you'll find bulletin boards (sometimes nationally, sometimes locally) that announce meeting spots, times and even planned routes for rallies.

Civil Unrest Can Touch Anyone.. Anywhere… Anytime!

Any polarizing event can turn neighbors into madmen under the right circumstances and when rule of law has been destroyed.

Even a simple police shooting, if it's controversial, can spark an entire riot, (such as recently in Baltimore).

Whether the shooting is justified or not doesn't matter.

It's how people react to it that matters.

The question is, could YOU protect yourself and others if things went that bad, that quickly?

Are you training for conditions like that?

If you're not, there's a serious gap in your training that could one day force you to escape and evade chaos.

What Is Your Go-To Plan For Keeping Your Family Safe During Civil Unrest?

Please Share Your Thoughts And Experiences Below…

MCS Podcast 53: L.A. Riots – Lessons In Social Chaos Survival

LA Riots Social Chaos Survival Tips

LA Riots Social Chaos Survival Tips

In 1992, when police officers  who beat Rodney King were cleared of wrong-doing, the Los Angeles area erupted in violence.

As chaos consumed the city, buildings burned, business were looted, and innocent passers-by were dragged from their vehicles and beaten mercilessly.

You're about to hear the on-the-scene account from one police officer, Scott Reitz, who was trapped in the middle of the meltdown, fighting for his life.

His “no b.s.” lessons learned will help you prepare for any type of mob violence where the predators of our society are on the prowl, looking to prey on the weak.

Press The “Play” Button Below To Listen In Now…


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Here's what awaits you in this week's episode…

  • What you can expect to see when you look out your window during time of civil unrest… and what you can expect from your local first-responders!  (Hint: It's not the answer you want to hear!)
  • How your “mental focus” changes when faced with a “mob mentality”… and how to develop the proper “mind-set” you need to survive!
  • Driving into a mob! Listen to the mistakes one unaware truck driver made at a violent intersection… so you don't make the same mistakes yourself!
  • Everyday Carry: Gear that can save your life when surrounded by a city in panic!
  • How to approach your firearms training to deal with “worst-case scenarios” like flash mobs… multiple attackers… an injured gun-hand… or any other real-world threat!

It's rare to get this kind of a first-hand glimpse into an urban meltdown… and even more rare to get advice on how to learn from this kind of chaos so you can better prepare to protect yourself and those you love!

What Other “Social Chaos” Survival Strategies Should We Master?

Please Share Your Feedback Below Now…