Twenty years ago, a Southern California jury was weighing the fates of four police officers accused of brutally beating black motorist Rodney King after a traffic stop. Their subsequent acquittal touched off several days of race riots in Los Angeles that left 55 people dead, 2,300 injured and 1,500 buildings damaged or destroyed.
In marking two decades since Los Angeles burned, local television news station KNBC-TV is putting a new media spin on things, live-tweeting events as they happened in 1992.
The Twitter account @RealTimeLARiots kicked off April 20, chronicling the end of the trial of the four officers -- three white, one Hispanic -- accused of beating King.
"On April 29 at 3:15 p.m., the verdict will be announced and the account will shift focus to the riots, complete with archive footage, photos and breaking news from around Los Angeles," KNBC explained. "Each @RealTimeLARiots tweet corresponds to the actual date and time (sometimes down to the minute) of each major event as it unfolded back in 1992."
Here's a sample of what the account has produced so far:
And an ominous warning of what's to come:
“With the 20th anniversary coming up, there is a ton of coverage out there, so we were looking for a unique way to tell the story – a compelling way that people couldn’t get anywhere else,” Olsen Ebright, content producer for the station, told Lost Remote.
Ebright said he's been a fan of similar real-time Twitter accounts, such as World War II (@RealTimeWWII) and the Titanic (@TitanicRealTime), and "we took our inspiration from them."
As of Wednesday afternoon, the account had posted 35 messages and had more than 1,000 followers.