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Oscar winner to premiere documentary about 1992 LA riots

ACCLAIMED: John Ridley

OSCAR WINNER John Ridley will be tackling the 1992 Los Angeles riots in a new documentary.

Ridley has joined forces with ABC News’ Lincoln Square Productions for “Let It Fall: L.A 1982-1992,” a two-hour documentary offering an in-depth examination of the civil unrest that devastated much of South Los Angeles after the acquittal of four Los Angeles police officers charged with using excessive force in the beating of African-American motorist Rodney King.

The project, scheduled to air next spring on ABC, is pegged to the 25th anniversary of the unrest and will begin a decade before the riots, telling the stories of numerous people from diverse communities, including black, white, Latino, Korean and Japanese-American residents caught up in the uproar.

“The goal is to give the space to get the real details from people, and get beyond the images that everyone is so familiar with,” said Ridley in a telephone interview. “We’re looking at the cascade effect of certain events, actions and situations that I think clearly led to an environment where something like the uprising could happen.”

Among the interviewees are police commanders, patrolmen and members of city governments.

“We will see people who have transcended and learned and grown from 25 years ago, and then there are some people who have not been able to turn the page,” Ridley said.

Revisiting the riots with those people was “challenging, illuminating and heartbreaking.”

Ridley, who won an Oscar for his “12 Years a Slave” screenplay, is collaborating with several ABC News journalists led by award-winning documentary filmmaker Jeanmarie Condon.

“With everything that is going on in the country today, this is the perfect time to look at what led up to this event,” said Condon, who is an executive producer of “Let It Fall.”

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