ABC Airing LA Riots Special 'Let It Fall' Amid Worldwide Police Brutality Protests

ABC is airing a special made-for-TV documentary called Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992 on Tuesday night. The series traces the roots and the effects of the Rodney King riots that the city saw in the early 1990s. It is being scheduled to air this week due to the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests around the country.

ABC blocked out a primetime spot on Tuesday for Let It Fall, an ABC News documentary that first aired back in 2017. The critically-acclaimed special will air at 8 p.m. ET on the network, beginning with a new special introduction by singer John Legend. With the U.S. now seeing protests in major cities all over the country — some of them including property destruction and many ending in violent clashes with police — this in-depth look at one of L.A.'s most infamous riots bears revisiting.

"I deeply appreciate ABC devoting broadcast air time to this encore presentation of Let It Fall," said the movie's director, John Ridley, in a statement published by Laughing Place. "The power of Let It Fall lays in the fact that it is an oral history by those with a lived experience. In these times, I think it's critically important to hear from those who've survived the past, and have chosen to share their stories in hopes we may all yet arrive to a better place."

Let It Fall begins by examining L.A. in the years leading up to the beating of Rodney King, starting with the murder of another unarmed Black man, James Mincey Jr. Mincey was killed by an officer who put him in a chokehold in an attempt to subdue him in 1982. The movie then traces the tense climate of the city through the hosting of the 1984 Summer Olympics, the crack-cocaine epidemic and the rise of street gangs.

Other extrajudicial killings, important developments and police tactics are examined before the documentary arrives at the pivotal confrontation between King and the police on March 3, 1991. It then traces the court case against Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind, Theodore Briseno and Stacey Koon — the officers caught on camera savagely beating King — and their acquittal.


Of course, the documentary also takes a blow-by-blow approach to the riots that followed. Los Angeles quickly descended into violence when King's attackers were acquitted, and the documentary draws on firsthand accounts of witnesses, victims and city officials, including police officers at the time.

Let It Fall airs on Tuesday, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. For those that want to watch it on their schedule, it is streaming on Netflix and is available on several digital stores to rent or purchase.