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Anti-Asian Violence in the US: A Bloody Story

The raid, which occurred in Los Angeles on October 24, 1871, was the largest and deadliest of the attacks. About 500 rioters - both Anglo-American and Hispanic - stormed into the city's Chinese neighborhood after a shootout between suspected Chinese gang members and local authorities resulted in the death of a white saloon owner and the wounding of a policeman. As the mob approached, frightened Chinese residents took refuge in a long mud building in the heart of Chinatown.

Two hours of indiscriminate killing followed. The mob broke open the doors of the building and seized Chinese men and boys who were hiding inside - only one of them had been involved in the earlier shooting. The rioters maimed and murdered virtually every Chinese they could find. When the mob ran out of ropes, they used clotheslines to hang their victims.

The mob murdered a total of 19 people, including a respected doctor and an adolescent boy. All but two bodies were taken to the city's prison yard, where desperate friends and family members searched among the ranks of the dead for their loved ones. The death toll corresponded to 10 percent of the city's Chinese population.

Although eight rioters were convicted of manslaughter, they were all released a year later due to a formal error.