The arrest of Marquette Frye, a 21-year-old black man, sparked five days of riots in Watts. The riots followed allegations that Frye had been subject to police brutality. During the course of the riots, there were 34 deaths, 1,000 injuries, and 4,000 arrests. The riots were squelched by 20,000 national guardsmen who were called in by California Governor Brown.
The riots in Watts were the worst of a series of disturbances that broke out in many inner cities in the summer of 1965, and in the following summers during the mid sixties.