Review Analysis of a Riot

How well does your analysis of your riot in the first assignment fit with those data visualizations? Do those data visualizations change what label you think should be applied to your riot? Explain why.

In my initial analysis of the riot, I described it as a rebellion – opposition to one in authority or dominance – open, armed, and usually unsuccessful defiance of or resistance to an established government: an instance of such defiance or resistance. After creating the data visualizations, I am even more convinced of the label that I chose. The single inciting incident of the traffic stop of a Black man by a white police officer would not start a 6-day event of lootings, rioting’s, and struggles between the African American people and law enforcement of a community unless there was built up resentment of the longstanding racial injustices in the Watts area of Los Angeles. My timeline and map provide details about the time and location of the inciting incident and then traces examples of many of the events – like the lootings, destructions and burning of cars and property – throughout the time of six days and the region expanding out from Avalon Boulevard. 

In my initial assignment, I did successfully identify the features of the riot but did not focus on the asymmetry. The data visualizations were helpful in providing more detail to some of the features that I listed. For example, the trigger for the riots was clear by time and location. The duration and location of some of the major incidents associated with the riot were also evident as were some of the amount and kind of property damage. But the sources that I used to create my spreadsheets for the map and the timeline were not always specific. The newspapers had more general information for that day without always providing names, times, and specific locations. The McCone Commission report and the Fire This Time, historic report, gave more detail. I tried to choose examples from throughout the six days of the rebellion that best described how and where the event took place but could not be comprehensive with all the information that was available.

From the beginning of this assignment, I did not focus on the relative casualties among civilians and the authorities, which show more violence by police than against them – 73 civilians injured, 136 firemen, 90 police officers, 10 national guard, 23 other government officials. That was evident in my research, and I tried to consider that in the data. Now at the end of the assignment, I would choose that key feature of asymmetry. The damage to property and injuries and loss of lives throughout the six days were disproportionately to the African American community. On the map and tracing the timeline and incidents, most if not all the activity stayed in the Watts area and did not move into White neighborhoods. White residents were told by the media to stay away, and it became a struggle between the African American community and the majority White LAPD and National Guard. 

Wiki Analysis

After you have completed your annotations, assess the entry on the riot you are studying:

  1. Referring to your timeline and map, how well does the entry describe the events of the riot, and when and where they occurred?

The entry also provides detail about what started the riots.  The resentment of longstanding racial injustices in the Watts area of Los Angeles turned the inciting incident of the traffic stop of a Black man into a series of riots across the 45 miles.  My timeline and map provides much more detail about the time and location of the inciting incident.  You can also see through my timeline and map how the rioting spread from the epicenter of the inciting incident.  

There is not much detail in the Wikipedia entry about the actual incidents during the riot – specifics like the fires, looting of neighborhood stores, mosque incident, tear gas by police, for example.  Those details would explain the timing of bringing in the National Guard.  There is also no descriptions of who was injured and killed (white vs. black, law enforcement vs. citizens) which are important details.

  1. How well does the label applied to the riot in the entry fit with the information in the entry and with your interpretation of the riot?

The entry does address whether the event was a riot or rebellion at the beginning but continues to call it a riot throughout the entry.  In the initial assignment, I identified the event as a rebellion because it was ultimately a deliberate insurgency against an illegitimate regime, an act of political resistance with the intent of destabilizing or overturning the status quo.  The entry goes on to describe events during the rebellion but often leaves out important information like times and locations.  My timeline and map give a clearer picture of how the event exploded from one incident that caused the population of the Watts area to rebel.  The destruction was also confined mostly to their own neighborhoods and very little of the activity went outside of the African-American communities.

Post your answers to these questions on your blog and submit a link to that blog post using the link at the top of these instructions.

Mapping Data Analysis

Many arrest cluster at Avalon & 43rd St. Injuries and looting can be tracked down Avalon Blvd throughout the 4 days. The greatest proportion of events are the looting and they cluster by time and location.

  • To what extent do events in the same category cluster at the same places? (At what places do events in the same category cluster? How large are the clusters of events in the same category? What proportion of in the same category are in clusters?)

Arrest cluster where looting is at Avalon & 43rd, while rocks and bottles thrown and crowds incited at 116 & Avalon. This is where the initial traffic stop with the Frye brothers occurred and was the epicenter of the riot. About 20% of the clusters were arrests and about 20% were looting in the same area where windows were broken. The fire custard mostly around Athens park and 103rd St.

  • To what extent do the places where events occur and cluster change during the duration of the riot?

The epicenter of the Watts Rebellion was around 116th street & Avalon and you can see as time went on over the 4 days that you could almost draw a square around how the looting and violence spread in all directions as far as long beach.

  • How many events in your spreadsheet are not on your map? Are any categories of events missing from the map more than others? Is there enough missing data to make uncertain any of your answers to the previous questions?

All of my events from the spreadsheet are on the map although some of them occur at the same place so are pinpointed on top of each other. For example, at Avalon & 116th St there are arrests, assault on police, cars destroyed, injuries, and looting. Maybe I could’ve been more specific about where and what type of stores were looted, also i did not note all the places that the national guard were deployed and was not specific about every single fire or injury.

  • How well does the map fit with what you identified as the key feature of your riot and the label you applied to it in the first assignment? Does knowing where events occurred what you think is the key feature and label of your riot?

I applied the label of a rebellion, a rebellion is defined as an open armed and usually unsuccessful defiance of or resistance to an established government. The Watts rebellion began as a simple traffic stop by a white police man to a young black male in a black neigborhood. When the black citizens of the neighborhood came out to watch the arrest, it brought forth other pent up anger at the authorities and their situation. The discontent spread out from the that center point from the Watts neighborhood where mostly black owned business and property’s were destroyed. The map shows that the rebellion was actually a series of riots over the span of 6 days that spread across miles of Los Angeles. As the riot spread the arrest, destruction, and injuries increased. 

Where events occurred is obvious because it’s called the Watts Riot, so pinpointing events on the map defined for me where Watts is in relation to Los Angeles. But I think the key feature of the Watts Rebellion was the destruction done to the neighborhood and the injuries mostly to the black population living there, not law enforcement.