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The Watts riots (August 11–17, 1965) began with the arrest of an African American man, Marquette Frye, by California Highway Patrol officers for drunk driving. Most accounts now concur that Frye resisted arrest, but it remains unclear whether police used undue force to subdue him. Although named for the small, Los Angeles inner city community of Watts, the riots actually affected many sections of what is now called South Central Los Angeles. In six nights of rioting, 34 people were killed, 1,032 injured, and $40 million worth of property was destroyed. Many of the most vivid images of the Watts riots depict the massive fires set by the rioters. Hundreds of buildings, whole city blocks, were burned to the ground. Firefighters were unable to work ...

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