Twenty-five years ago, Los Angeles erupted into the most destructive civil disturbance in modern US history. The violence erupted after a jury acquitted four white police officers in the beating of black motorist Rodney King. IBTimes UK looks back at the events leading up to the riots, and what happened afterwards.

On 3 March 1991, Rodney King was pulled over by California Highway Patrol officers for speeding on a Los Angeles freeway. King, who later admitted he tried to elude authorities because he had been drinking and was on probation for a robbery conviction, pulled off the freeway and eventually stopped his car in front of a San Fernando Valley apartment building. At that point, Los Angeles police officers took charge of the traffic stop.

George Holliday, who lived in the apartment building and was awakened by the noise, came out to videotape the scene, filming four white officers beating and kicking the black motorist dozens of times, even after he was on the ground. After Holliday turned over the video to a local TV station, it quickly spread and created international outrage.

Rodney King LA riots 1992
6 March 1991: A photo of Rodney King that was taken three days after his videotaped beatingLAPD

The Los Angeles County District Attorney subsequently charged four police officers – Sgt Stacey Koon and officers Theodore Briseno, Laurence Powell and Timothy Wind – with assault and use of excessive force.

Rodney King LA riots 1992
15 March 1991: Sgt Stacey Koon, Officer Timothy Wind and Officer Laurence Powell are seen in their booking photos from the Los Angeles District Attorney's officeLA District Attorney's Office

On 29 April 1992, the mostly white jury acquitted all four officers of assault and acquitted three of the four of using excessive force.

As word of the verdict spread through predominantly black South Los Angeles, residents exploded in anger, burning and looting stores by the hundreds and attacking passers-by. Governor Pete Wilson complied with Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley's request to send in the National Guard.

Rodney King LA riots 1992
29 April 1992: A demonstrator hurls an object through a door at the Los Angeles courthouse after the acquittal of four LAPD officers policemen in their trial for the videotaped beating of motorist Rodney KingLee Celano/Reuters
Rodney King LA riots 1992
29 April 1992: People surround an overturned car in the aftermath of the Rodney King trialSam Mircovich/Reuters
Rodney King LA riots 1992
29 April 1992: Flames roar from a Thrifty Drug store in the Crenshaw area of Los AngelesMike Nelson/AFP
Rodney King LA riots 1992
29 April 1992: Cornelius Pettus, owner of Payless Market, throws a bucket of water on the flames on neighbouring business ACE Glass on the first night of the riotsHyungwon Kang/Reuters
Rodney King LA riots 1992
30 April 1992: A shop owner watches in despair as his business burns downLee Celano/Reuters
Rodney King LA riots 1992
30 April 1992: A cloud of smoke billows up from a building in Los AngelesJohn Barr/Liaison/Getty Images
Rodney King LA riots 1992
30 April 1992: People run past a burning building in Los AngelesJohn Barr/Liaison/Getty Images
Rodney King LA riots 1992
30 April 1992: National Guardsmen watch a business go up in flames in south Los AngelesHal Garb/AFP
Rodney King LA riots 1992
30 April 1992: A store owner and a Los Angeles Police Department officer look at the damage caused by lootersMike Nelson/AFP
Rodney King LA riots 1992
30 April 1992: A car lies overturned in a street of Los Angeles as a shop owner sweeps up in front of his businessDon Emmert/AFP
Rodney King LA riots 1992
30 April 1992: An aerial view of firefighters extinguishing a fire after rioting in Los AngelesMike Nelson/AFP
Rodney King LA riots 1992
30 April 1992: People sift through debris after buildings were burned down during rioting in Los AngelesJohn Barr/Liaison/Getty Images
Rodney King LA riots 1992
30 April 1992: A California National Guardsman stands watch in front of a graffiti-covered wall in Los Angeles after two days of rioting tore through the area in the wake of the acquittal of four Los Angeles police officers in the beating of motorist Rodney KingLee Celano/Reuters
Rodney King LA riots 1992
1 May 1992: People stand with their belongings outside a burned out apartment building that was attached to a row of stores that were burned and lootedHal Garb/AFP
Rodney King LA riots 1992
1 May 1992: Businesses continue to burn out of control on South Vermont Avenue at San Marino Street intersection in an area of LA known as KoreatownHyungwon Kang/Reuters
Rodney King LA riots 1992
1 May 1992: An armed National Guardsman stands outside a toy store after capturing looters inside it in South Central, Los AngelesCalvin Hom/Reuters
Rodney King LA riots 1992
1 May 1992: People grab cases of beer from a looted liquor storeHal Garb/AFP

On 1 May 1992 – the third day of the uprising – King went on TV to plead for calm, asking in a trembling voice, "Can we all get along?"

Rodney King LA riots 1992
1 May 1992: Rodney King, the motorist whose beating by police was captured on videotape, smiles during a press conference, where he called for the end of violence in the cityDon Emmert/AFP

The three days of unchecked violence, arson and looting left 55 people dead and more than 2,000 injured, and caused an estimated $1 billion (approximately £1.3bn in 2017) in damage.

Rodney King LA riots 1992
4 May 1992: Presidential candidate Governor Bill Clinton tours the riot-hit south-central area of Los Angeles with US Representative Maxine WatersCynthia Johnson/Liaison/Getty Images

Two of the officers were later convicted on federal charges of violating King's civil rights and were sentenced to prison. A jury ordered the city of Los Angeles to pay King, who was unemployed at the time of the beating, $3.8 million in damages.

On 17 June 2012 – just weeks after the 20th anniversary of the riots and soon after releasing his memoir The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption – King drowned in his backyard swimming pool at the age of 47. A coroner's report stated he had cocaine, marijuana, PCP and alcohol in his body.

Rodney King LA riots 1992
24 April 1992: Rodney King speaks during a signing of his book The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to RedemptionShannon Stapleton/Reuters
Rodney King LA riots 1992
17 June 1992: Rialto police stand in front of the home where Rodney King was found dead in a swimming poolGene Blevins/Reuters
Rodney King LA riots 1992
17 June 2012: Detective Carla McCullough with Rialto Police directs police technician Noretta Barker as they investigate the apparent drowning of Rodney KingKevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Rodney King LA riots 1992
17 June 2012: Candice King, daughter of Rodney King, is comforted by family members after her father was found dead at the age of 47 after apparently drowning in his swimming poolKevork Djansezian/Getty Images

In the years since then, Florida teen Trayvon Martin was shot and his killer acquitted. The Black Lives Matter movement was born. And the nation transitioned from the leadership of its first black president, Barack Obama, to the uncertainties of Donald Trump's administration.