7 The Flawed Emergency Response to the 1992 Los Angeles Riots Destiny


The Flawed Emergency Response to the 1992 Los Angeles Riots

Destiny Nance

Southern New Hampshire University

Ethical Leadership

July 13th, 2022

“Determine the ethicality of leadership’s decision-making in their attempts to address the problem. Be sure to justify and support your response with appropriate research from the field gathered in your previous review”.

The various determination of the ethicality of leadership was implicated in the case study in the attempt to make a decision in their attempt to address the problem which was in hand. For example, in the case study, there is an indication of the multiple individuals trying to defuse the riots and ensuring that they did what was best for the people of Los Angeles. For example, there is an illusion that LAPD Commander Bayan Lewis had acquired around 300 sets of helmets and flak vests for officers for the commotion. He, therefore unofficial, implicated the warning of the possibility of the protest; however, he had held the gear still and ready for officers in case they were required.

On the other hand, Governor Wilson’s office had called the General of the California National Guard. The call was to inform them of the possibility of positioning troops if needed. About half an hour later, Mayor Bradley inducted and authorized the arraignment of around 2,000 more solid to provide requite help (Rosegrant, 2000). However though the solider were positioned, Chief Gates and Sheriff Block thought the guard was not required, and thus it poked one of the downfalls of neutralizing the riots, the more defense and troops would have been more implicative.

“Evaluate the transparency of the organization regarding public communications. Be sure to justify your response. For example, are systems in place to communicate with the public? Has the organization been readily available and willing to provide the community with information regarding the problem?”

I feel that in the kind of situation which was an experience, there was the dare need to have a single individual who could be responsible for delivering updates and making the public aware of the occurrences which were happening in the riots. However, while scrutinizing the case study, there is an indication that a lot of opinions were flamed and aired to the public. It seemed like it was geared to d downplay the situation and the experience at hand. For example, it’s my rational thinking that some of the information and comments made to the public should not have been stated. It was reckless to bring updates on the possibility of troops moving in.

In the television interview, Gates made some sentiment and statement “that not only was it unlikely that additional National Guard forces would be called, but he also was not even convinced that the first 2,000 were needed” (Rosegrant, 2000). However, when it came time for government entities responsible for quelling the unrest, it was clear that they had gone overboard in publicizing their plans to do so. It wasn’t long before newscasters, and television shows alike began to deride their efforts at resolution. They only had to act and use their techniques in real-time to get the media’s attention.

“Evaluate how the organization’s leadership considered the community’s ethical concerns in addressing the problem. Be sure to justify your response. For example, how were the circumstances of internal and external stakeholders considered?”

After a detailed review of the survey data, the area’s safety appears to be one of the critical concerns. It was decided that a nighttime curfew in South Central would be one way to deal with the problem. However, it seemed that at stance, curfew looked to be discretionary and not required. The situation was agitated because Bradley didn’t want to upset the city’s business community, and the curfew was problematic. I think Bradley should have focused on regaining control of the town and protecting the citizens.

Regarding business, the curfew was advantageous rather than harmful (Rosegrant, 2000). Additional federal assistance was required as the riots grew in scope. Riots had the potential to devastate even the most developed areas, such as affluent neighborhoods and metropolitan districts. It was in everyone’s best interest to send in more troops to help disperse the mob.

“Determine how leadership’s ethical decisions may impact employees’ performance in addressing the problem. How might these decisions improve employees’ ability to address the problem? How might they hinder their ability to address the problem?”

There is a mileage of ways in which the ethical decision of the leadership impacted the performance of the employees in addressing the problem. For example, due to the escalation of the ethical behavior, there was no disagreement which could have hindered the effort to fix the situation. In other words, if an officer learns that the commander has denied outside assistance, their performance will deteriorate as a result of their exhaustion or burnout from trying to handle the problem on their own if they hear that aid was offered but refused by the command staff, this could harm their performance.

The lack of communication between the soldiers and their commanding officers was a significant problem. To begin with, they were ill-equipped to handle the situation. Because there was a scarcity of ammunition, flak vests, face shields, and riot batons, the forces could not deploy efficiently. Additionally, there was an issue with the scheduled timing of the deployment of the troops. As a result, the troops were becoming increasingly irritated. The National Guard soldiers were waiting to deploy in their respective armories. According to Richard Andrews of OES, “everything that could go wrong did go wrong with the National Guard deployment.” “Unfortunately, the chain of command in the National Guard was not receiving up-to-date and trustworthy information about what was taking place. Many people, including Thrasher, were caught off guard regularly. This could be spicy, making them angry and making it harder for them to solve the problem. Reports in newspapers and on television sparked outrage at the guard, who was accused of being slow to respond and providing incorrect information concerning deployment.

“Determine how the ethical decisions of leadership may impact the organization’s culture. For example, what if employees disagree with the conclusions?”

The ethical decision of leadership may have impacted the cultural organization. A lack of support from their employees—the troops and officers—could thwart any efforts to resolve the problem. In other words, if an officer learns that the commander has denied outside assistance, their performance will deteriorate as a result of their exhaustion or burnout from trying to handle the problem on their own If they find that aid was offered but refused by the command staff, their performance may be badly damaged. In this case, I don’t think Gates has the necessary leadership skills (Rosegrant, 2000). Additionally, Block predicted Gates would reject the other offers of assistance, which may have helped the LAPD had Gates left the help, given that Gates rejected the support. This decision was a blunder for both Gates and Blocks.

“Explain the overall implications of the ethical decision-making of leadership and how that affects the organization and community. Be sure to justify and support your response with appropriate research from the field gathered in your previous review”

There are multiple implications of the overall decision-making of the leadership and how it affects the organization and community. For instance, in this situation, the leaders, I believe, failed to take the interests of the community as a whole into account when making decisions. Disorganization was likewise evident, as was everyone else’s. These are solid examples of how cities should prepare for riots and have a plan in place if they should occur. For example, the recent rioting and protests after George Floyd’s death (Dixon & Dundes, 2020). In the case of the Boston riots, the city dispatched troops to help the local police end the unrest. Several cities suffered days of riots, and Guard forces were sent in to bring things under control. Using the 1992 Los Angeles riots as a case study, cities could end riots and looting more swiftly because they had a strategy.

Additionally, this example shows a lack of organization and communication, making it impossible to end the rioting. In my opinion, Gates’ refusal to assist and Blocks’ belief that Gates would reject additional assistance contributed to the current situation. As a result of these leaders’ decisions, the community was negatively impacted. There would be no one to help end the unrest if resources were withheld.


Dixon, P. J., & Dundes, L. (2020). Exceptional injustice: Facebook as a reflection of race-and gender-based narratives following the death of George Floyd. Social Sciences, 9(12), 231.

Rosegrant, S. (2000). The Flawed Emergency Response to the 1992 Los Angeles Riots. John F. Kennedy School of Government.