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On this day in 1965m a Los Angeles police officer pulled over motorist Marquette Frye on suspicion of drunk driving. The Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, California has seen a build up of racial tension over the preceding months and Frye’s arrest was enough so spark a six-day riot. It led to 34 deaths and $50 – $100 million in property damage.
Wednesday I watched the riot …
Seen the cops out on the street
Watched ’em throwin’ rocks and stuff
And chokin’ in the heat
Listened to reports
About the whisky passin’ ’round
Seen the smoke and fire
And the market burnin’ down
Watched while everybody
On his street would take a turn
To stomp and smash and bash and crash
And slash and bust and burn
Frank Zappa, Trouble Every Day