Rodney King

Last updated

Rodney King
CynthiaKelleyRodneyKingApr2012 (cropped).jpg
King in April 2012
Born
Rodney Glen King

(1965-04-02)April 2, 1965
DiedJune 17, 2012(2012-06-17) (aged 47)
Resting place Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills, California, U.S.
Known forVictim of a police brutality case that led to public protests, riots and police reform
Notable work The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption
Spouse(s)
Daneta Lyles
(m. 1985;div. 1988)

Crystal Waters
(m. 1989;div. 1996)
Partner(s)Cynthia Kelley [1]
(2010–2012; his death)
Children3

Rodney Glen King (April 2, 1965 June 17, 2012) was an African American man who was a victim of police brutality. On March 3, 1991, he was beaten by Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers during his arrest, after a high-speed chase, for driving while intoxicated on the I-210. An uninvolved individual, George Holliday, filmed the incident from his nearby balcony and sent the footage to local news station KTLA. [2] The footage showed an unarmed King on the ground being beaten after initially evading arrest. The incident was covered by news media around the world and caused a public furor.

Contents

At a press conference, Los Angeles police chief Daryl Gates announced that the four officers involved would be disciplined for use of excessive force and that three would face criminal charges. The LAPD initially charged King with "felony evading", but later dropped the charge. [3] On his release, he spoke to reporters from his wheelchair, with his injuries evident: a broken right leg in a cast, his face badly cut and swollen, bruises on his body and a burn area to his chest where he had been jolted with a stun gun. He described how he had knelt, spread his hands out, then slowly tried to move so as not to make any "stupid moves", being hit across the face by a billy club and shocked. He said he was scared for his life as they drew down on him. [4]

Four officers were eventually tried on charges of use of excessive force. Of these, three were acquitted; the jury failed to reach a verdict on one charge for the fourth. Within hours of the acquittals, the 1992 Los Angeles riots started, sparked by outrage among racial minorities over the trial's verdict and related, longstanding social issues, overlaid with tensions between the African American and Korean American communities. [5] The rioting lasted six days and killed 63 people, with 2,383 more injured; it ended only after the California Army National Guard, the Army, as well as the Marine Corps provided reinforcements to re-establish control. King advocated for a peaceful end to the conflict.

The federal government prosecuted a separate civil rights case, obtaining grand jury indictments of the four officers for violations of King's civil rights. Their trial in a federal district court ended in April 1993, with two of the officers being found guilty and sentenced to serve prison terms. The other two were acquitted of the charges. In a separate civil lawsuit in 1994, a jury found the City of Los Angeles liable and awarded King $3.8 million in damages.

Early life

King was born in Sacramento, California, in 1965, the son of Ronald and Odessa King. He and his four siblings grew up in Altadena, California. [6] [7] King attended John Muir High School and often talked about being inspired by his social science teacher, Robert E. Jones. [8] King's father died in 1984 [9] at the age of 42.

On November 3, 1989, King robbed a store in Monterey Park, California. He threatened the Korean store owner with an iron bar. King then hit the store owner with a pole before fleeing the scene. King stole two hundred dollars in cash during the robbery. He was caught, convicted, and sentenced to two years' imprisonment. He was released on December 27, 1990, after serving one year in prison. [7]

Marriage and family

King had a daughter with his girlfriend, Carmen Simpson. He later married Denetta Lyles (cousin to racist hate crime victim James Byrd Jr. and also cousin to rapper Mack 10) and had a daughter. King and Lyles were eventually divorced. He later married and had a daughter with Crystal Waters. This marriage also ended in divorce. [9] [10]

1991 Police Assault in Los Angeles

Beating of Rodney King
R King beating.png
Screenshot of King being beaten by LAPD officers
Location Los Angeles, California, U.S.
DateMarch 3, 1991;31 years ago (1991-03-03)
c. 12:45 a.m. (PST)
Attack type
Beating, police brutality
VictimRodney Glen King
Accused
Convicted
  • Stacey Cornell Koon
  • Laurence M. Powell
VerdictFederal charges:

State charges:

  • Briseño, Koon, and Wind not guilty on all counts
  • Powell not guilty of excessive force and filing a false report, hung jury on count of assault
ChargesFederal charges:

State charges:

SentenceKoon and Powell:
2+12 years in federal prison

Early in the morning of Sunday, March 3, 1991, King, with his friends Bryant Allen and Freddie Helms, was driving a 1987 Hyundai Excel west on the Foothill Freeway (Interstate 210) in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. The three had spent the night watching basketball and drinking at a friend's house in Los Angeles. [11] At 12:30 a.m., officers Tim and Melanie Singer, husband and wife members of the California Highway Patrol, noticed King's car speeding on the freeway. They pursued King with lights and sirens, and the pursuit reached 117 mph (188 km/h), while King refused to pull over. [12] [13] King later said he tried to outrun the police because a charge of driving under the influence would violate his parole for his previous robbery conviction. [14]

King left the freeway near the Hansen Dam Recreation Area and the pursuit continued through residential streets at speeds ranging from 55 to 80 miles per hour (90 to 130 km/h), and through at least one red light. [15] [16] [17] By this point, several police cars and a police helicopter had joined in the pursuit. After approximately 8 miles (13 km), officers cornered King in his car. The first five Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers to arrive were Stacey Koon, Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind, Theodore Briseno and Rolando Solano. [18]

The beating

Officer Tim Singer ordered King and his two passengers to exit the vehicle and to lie face down on the ground. Allen claims he was manhandled, kicked, stomped, taunted and threatened. [19] Helms was hit in the head while lying on the ground; he was treated for a laceration on the top of his head. [20] His bloody baseball cap was turned over to police. King remained in the car. When he emerged, he was reported to have giggled, to have patted the ground and waved to the police helicopter overhead. [16] King grabbed his buttocks, which Officer Melanie Singer took to mean King was reaching for a weapon, [21] though he was later found to be unarmed. [22] She drew her pistol and pointed it at King, ordering him to lie on the ground. Singer approached, gun drawn, preparing to arrest him. At this point, Koon, the ranking officer at the scene, told Singer that the LAPD was taking command and ordered all officers to holster their weapons. [23]

According to the official report LAPD officer Koon ordered the four other LAPD officers at the scene—Briseno, Powell, Solano and Wind—to subdue and handcuff King using a technique called a "swarm", where multiple officers grab a suspect with empty hands, to overcome potential resistance quickly. By standing to remove Officers Powell and Briseno from his back, the four officers claimed King had resisted attempts to restrain him. King denied he resisted. Witnesses also claimed King appeared not to resist. The officers later testified that they believed King was under the influence of phencyclidine (PCP), [24] although King's toxicology tested negative for the drug. [25]

At this point, Holliday's video recording shows King on the ground after being tasered by Koon. He rises and rushes toward Powell—as argued in court, either to attack Powell or to flee—and King and Powell collided in a rush. [26] :6 Taser wire can be seen on King's body. Officer Powell strikes King with his baton, and King is knocked to the ground. Powell strikes King several more times with his baton. Briseno moves in, attempting to stop Powell from striking again, and Powell stands back. Koon reportedly said, "Stop! Stop! That’s enough! That’s enough!" King rises again, to his knees; Powell and Wind are seen hitting King with their batons. [27]

Koon acknowledged ordering the continued use of batons, directing Powell and Wind to strike King with "power strokes". According to Koon, Powell and Wind used "bursts of power strokes, then backed off". The officers beat King. In the videotape, King continues to try to stand again. Koon orders the officers to "hit his joints, hit the wrists, hit his elbows, hit his knees, hit his ankles". Officers Wind, Briseno, and Powell attempted numerous baton strikes on King, resulting in some misses but with 33 blows hitting King, plus seven [28] kicks. The officers again "swarm" King, but this time a total of eight officers are involved in the swarm. King is placed in handcuffs and cord cuffs, restraining his arms and legs. King is dragged on his abdomen to the side of the road to await the arrival of emergency medical rescue. [29] [30]

External video
Nuvola apps kaboodle.svg 3/7/91: Video of Rodney King beaten by police.

Holliday's video

Screenshots of King lying down and being beaten by LAPD officers Kingbeating.jpg
Screenshots of King lying down and being beaten by LAPD officers

Plumbing salesman and amateur videographer George Holliday's videotape of the beating was shot on his camcorder from his apartment near the intersection of Foothill Boulevard and Osborne Street in Lake View Terrace. Two days later, Holliday called LAPD headquarters at Parker Center to let the police department know that he had a videotape of the incident. Still, he could not find anyone interested in seeing the video. He went to KTLA television with his recording. Holliday, whose video camera was in another part of his residence, was unable to retrieve it until the officers were already in the act of beating King. [31] The footage as a whole became an instant media sensation. Portions were aired numerous times, and it "turned what would otherwise have been a violent, but soon forgotten, encounter between the Los Angeles police and an uncooperative suspect into one of the most widely watched and discussed incidents of its kind". [32]

Several "copwatch" organizations subsequently were started throughout the United States to safeguard against police abuse, including an umbrella group, October 22 Coalition to Stop Police Brutality. [33]

On September 19, 2021, Holliday died of COVID-19 complications at a hospital in Los Angeles. [34]

Post-arrest events

Aftermath

King was taken to Pacifica Hospital after his arrest, where he was found to have suffered a fractured facial bone, a broken right ankle, and multiple bruises and lacerations. [35] In a negligence claim filed with the city, King alleged he had suffered "11 skull fractures, permanent brain damage, broken [bones and teeth], kidney failure [and] emotional and physical trauma". [26] :8 Blood and urine samples were taken from King five hours after his arrest. The blood alcohol content (BAC) from King's test samples was 0.075%, [26] :8 indicating he would not have been legally intoxicated under California law, BAC legal limit 0.08%, at the time of his arrest. The tests also showed traces of marijuana (26 ng/ml). [26] :8 Pacifica Hospital nurses reported that the officers who accompanied King (including Wind) openly joked and bragged about the number of times they had hit King. [26] :15 Officers obtained King's identification from his clothes pockets at that time. King later sued the city for damages, and a jury awarded him $3.8 million, as well as $1.7 million in attorney's fees. [36] The city did not pursue charges against King for driving while intoxicated and evading arrest. District Attorney Ira Reiner believed there was insufficient evidence for prosecution. [35] His successor Gil Garcetti thought that by December 1992, too much time had passed to charge King with evading arrest; he also noted that the statute of limitations on drunk driving had passed. [37]

Charges against police officers and trial

At a press conference, announcing the four officers involved would be disciplined, and three would face criminal charges, Los Angeles police chief Daryl Gates said: "We believe the officers used excessive force taking him into custody. In our review, we find that officers struck him with batons between fifty-three and fifty-six times." The LAPD initially charged King with "felony evading", but later dropped the charge. [3]

The Los Angeles County District Attorney subsequently charged four police officers, including one sergeant, with assault and use of excessive force. [38] Due to the extensive media coverage of the arrest, the trial received a change of venue from Los Angeles County to Simi Valley in neighboring Ventura County. [39] The jury was composed of ten white jurors, one bi-racial male, [40] one Latino, and one Asian American. [41] The prosecutor, Terry White, was black. [42] [43]

On April 29, 1992, the seventh day of jury deliberations, the jury acquitted all four officers of assault and acquitted three of the four of using excessive force. The jury could not agree on a verdict for the fourth officer charged with using excessive force. [41] The verdicts were based in part on the first three seconds of a blurry, 13-second segment of the videotape that, according to journalist Lou Cannon, had not been aired by television news stations in their broadcasts. [44] [45]

The first two seconds of videotape, [46] contrary to the claims made by the accused officers, show King attempting to flee past Laurence Powell. During the next one minute and 19 seconds, King is beaten continuously by the officers. The officers testified that they tried to physically restrain King before the starting point of the videotape, but King was able to throw them off physically. [47]

Afterward, the prosecution suggested that the jurors may have acquitted the officers because of becoming desensitized to the violence of the beating, as the defense played the videotape repeatedly in slow motion, breaking it down until its emotional impact was lost. [48]

Outside the Simi Valley courthouse where the acquittals were delivered, county sheriff's deputies protected Stacey Koon from angry protesters on the way to his car. Movie director John Singleton, who was in the crowd at the courthouse, predicted, "By having this verdict, what these people did, they lit the fuse to a bomb." [49]

Christopher Commission

Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley created the Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department, also known as the Christopher Commission, in April 1991. Led by attorney Warren Christopher, it was created to conduct "a full and fair examination of the structure and operation of the LAPD", including its recruitment and training practices, internal disciplinary system, and citizen complaint system. [50]

Los Angeles riots and the aftermath

Though few people at first considered race an essential factor in the case, including Rodney King's attorney, Steven Lerman, [51] the Holliday videotape was at the time stirring deep resentment among black people in Los Angeles, as well as other major cities in the United States, where they had often complained of police abuse against their communities. The officers' jury consisted of Ventura County residents: ten white, one Latino, one Asian. Lead prosecutor Terry White was black. On April 29, 1992, the jury acquitted three of the officers but could not agree on one of the charges against Powell. [11]

Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley said, "The jury's verdict will not blind us to what we saw on that videotape. The men who beat Rodney King do not deserve to wear the uniform of the LAPD." [52] President George H. W. Bush said, "Viewed from outside the trial, it was hard to understand how the verdict could possibly square with the video. Those civil rights leaders with whom I met were stunned. And so was I, and so was Barbara, and so were my kids." [53]

Within hours of the acquittals, the 1992 Los Angeles riots began, lasting six days. African-Americans were outraged by the verdicts and began rioting in the streets along with the Latino communities. By the time law enforcement, the California Army National Guard, the United States Army, and the United States Marine Corps restored order, the riots had resulted in 63 deaths, 2,383 injuries, more than 7,000 fires, damage to 3,100 businesses, and nearly $1 billion in financial losses. Smaller riots occurred in other U.S. cities such as San Francisco, Las Vegas, Seattle, and as far east as Atlanta and New York City. A civil disturbance occurred on Yonge Street in Toronto, Canada when Canadians gathered to protest the acquittal in Los Angeles as well as a local police killing of a Black man in Toronto two days prior. [54] [55]

During the riots, on May 1, 1992, [56] King made a television appearance pleading for an end to the riots:

I just want to say – you know – can we, can we all get along? Can we, can we get along? Can we stop making it horrible for the older people and the kids? And ... I mean we've got enough smog in Los Angeles let alone to deal with setting these fires and things ... It's just not right. It's not right, and it's not going to change anything. We'll get our justice. They've won the battle, but they haven't won the war. We'll get our day in court, and that's all we want. And, just, uh, I love – I'm neutral. I love every – I love people of color. I'm not like they're making me out to be. We've got to quit. We've got to quit; I mean, after all, I could understand the first – upset for the first two hours after the verdict, but to go on, to keep going on like this and to see the security guard shot on the ground – it's just not right. It's just not right, because those people will never go home to their families again. And uh, I mean, please, we can, we can get along here. We all can get along. We just gotta. We gotta. I mean, we're all stuck here for a while. Let's, you know, let's try to work it out. Let's try to beat it, you know. Let's try to work it out. [56]

The widely quoted line has been often paraphrased as, "Can we all just get along?" or "Can't we all just get along?"

Federal civil rights trial of officers

After the acquittals and the riots, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) sought indictments of the police officers for violations of King's civil rights. On May 7, federal prosecutors began presenting evidence to the federal grand jury in Los Angeles. On August 4, the grand jury returned indictments against the three officers for "willfully and intentionally using unreasonable force" and against Sergeant Koon for "willfully permitting and failing to take action to stop the unlawful assault" on King. Based on these indictments, a trial of the four officers in the United States District Court for the Central District of California began on February 25, 1993. [57]

The federal trial focused more on the incident.[ clarification needed ] On March 9 of the 1993 trial, King took the witness stand and described to the jury the events as he remembered them. [58] The jury found Officer Laurence Powell and Sergeant Stacey Koon guilty, and they were subsequently sentenced to 30 months in prison. Timothy Wind and Theodore Briseno were acquitted of all charges, [11] [59] but both were soon dismissed by the LAPD for their role in the beating. [60]

During the three-hour sentencing hearing, US District Judge John G. Davies accepted much of the defense version of the beating. He strongly criticized King, who, he said, provoked the officers' initial actions. Davies said that only the final six or so baton blows by Powell were unlawful. The first 55 seconds of the videotaped portion of the incident, during which the vast majority of the blows were delivered, was within the law because the officers were attempting to subdue a suspect who was resisting efforts to take him into custody. [61]

Davies found that King's provocative behavior began with his "remarkable consumption of alcoholic beverage" and continued through a high-speed chase, refusal to submit to police orders and an aggressive charge toward Powell. Davies made several findings in support of the officers' version of events. [61] He concluded that Officer Powell never intentionally struck King in the head, and "Powell's baton blow that broke King's leg was not illegal because King was still resisting and rolling around on the ground, and breaking bones in resistant suspects is permissible under police policy." [62]

Mitigation cited by the judge in determining the length of the prison sentence included the suffering the officers had undergone because of the extensive publicity their case had received, high legal bills that were still unpaid, the impending loss of their careers as police officers, their higher risks of abuse while in prison, and their undergoing two trials. The judge acknowledged that the two trials did not legally constitute double jeopardy, but raised "the specter of unfairness". [61]

These mitigations were critical to the validity of the sentences imposed because federal sentencing guidelines called for much longer prison terms in the range of 70 to 87 months. The low sentences were controversial and were appealed by the prosecution. In a 1994 ruling, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rejected all the grounds cited by Judge Davies and extended the terms. The defense appealed the case to the US Supreme Court. Both Koon and Powell were released from prison while they appealed to the Ninth Circuit's ruling, having served their original 30-month sentences with time off for good behavior. On June 14, 1996, the high court partially reversed the lower court in a ruling, unanimous in its most important aspects, which gave a strong endorsement to judicial discretion, even under sentencing guidelines intended to produce uniformity. [63]

Later life

King with fiancee Cynthia Kelley a few months before his death. Kelley was one of the jurors in King's civil suit against the city of Los Angeles when he was awarded $3.8 million. CynthiaKelleyRodneyKingApr2012.jpg
King with fiancée Cynthia Kelley a few months before his death. Kelley was one of the jurors in King's civil suit against the city of Los Angeles when he was awarded $3.8 million.

Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley offered King $200,000 and a four-year college education funded by the city of Los Angeles. [64] King refused and sued the city, and was subsequently awarded $3.8 million. Bryant Allen, one of the passengers in King's car on the night of the incident, received $35,000 in his lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles. [65] The estate of Freddie Helms, the other passenger, settled for $20,000; Helms died in a car crash on June 29, 1991, age 20, in Pasadena. [66] King invested a portion of his settlement in a record label, Straight Alta-Pazz Records, hoping to employ minority employees, but it went out of business. [67] With help from a ghostwriter, he later wrote and published a memoir. [68]

King was subject to further arrests and convictions for driving violations after the 1991 incident, as he struggled with alcoholism and drug addiction. In May 1991, he was arrested on suspicion of having tried to run down an undercover vice officer in Hollywood, but no charges were filed. [69] In 1992, he was arrested for injuring his wife, Crystal King. Crystal ultimately declined to file a complaint. [69] On August 21, 1993, he crashed his car into a block wall in downtown Los Angeles. [70] He was convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, fined, and entered a rehabilitation program, after which he was placed on probation. In July 1995, he was arrested by Alhambra police after hitting Crystal with his car and knocking her to the ground during a fight. King had previously been arrested twice on suspicion of abusing her. [70] He was sentenced to 90 days in jail after being convicted of hit and run. [71]

On August 27, 2003, King was arrested again for speeding and running a red light while under the influence of alcohol. He failed to yield to police officers and slammed his vehicle into a house, breaking his pelvis. [72] On November 29, 2007, while riding home on his bicycle, [64] King was shot in the face, arms, and back with pellets from a shotgun. He reported that the attackers were a man and a woman who demanded his bicycle and shot him when he rode away. [71] Police described the wounds as looking as if they came from birdshot. [73]

In May 2008, King checked into the Pasadena Recovery Center in Pasadena, California, where he filmed as a cast member of season 2 of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew , which premiered in October 2008. Dr. Drew Pinsky, who runs the facility, showed concern for King's life and said he would die unless his addictions were treated. [74] King also appeared on Sober House , a Celebrity Rehab spin-off focusing on a sober living environment. [75] During his time on Celebrity Rehab and Sober House, King worked on his addiction and what he said was lingering trauma of the beating. He and Pinsky physically retraced King's path from the night of his beating, eventually reaching the spot where it happened, the site of the Children's Museum of Los Angeles, which is now Discovery Cube Los Angeles. [76]

In 2009, King and other Celebrity Rehab alumni appeared as panel speakers to a new group of addicts at the Pasadena Recovery Center, marking 11 months of sobriety for him. His appearance was aired in the third-season episode "Triggers". [77] King won a celebrity boxing match against Chester, Pennsylvania, police officer Simon Aouad on September 11, 2009, at the Ramada Philadelphia Airport in Essington. [78]

On September 9, 2010, it was confirmed that King was going to marry Cynthia Kelley, who had been a juror in the civil suit he brought against the City of Los Angeles. [1] On March 3, 2011, the 20th anniversary of the beating, the LAPD stopped King for driving erratically and issued him a citation for driving with an expired license. [79] [80] This arrest led to a February 2012 misdemeanor conviction for reckless driving. [81]

The BBC quoted King commenting on his legacy. "Some people feel like I'm some kind of hero. Others hate me. They say I deserved it. Other people, I can hear them mocking me for when I called for an end to the destruction like I'm a fool for believing in peace." [82]

Memoir

In April 2012, King published his memoir, The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption . [83] Co-authored by Lawrence J. Spagnola, the book describes King's turbulent youth as well as his personal account of the arrest, the trials, and the aftermath. [84]

Death

On Father's Day, June 17, 2012, King's partner, Cynthia Kelley, found King dead underwater at the bottom of his swimming pool. [85] [86] King died 28 years to the day after his father, Ronald King, was found dead in his bathtub in 1984. [87]

Police in Rialto received a 911 call from Kelley at about 5:25 a.m. (PDT). [88] [89] Responding officers removed King from the pool and performed CPR on him. Still pulseless, he was then transferred to an advanced life support ambulance where paramedics attempted to revive him. He was transported to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, California, and was pronounced dead on arrival at 6:11 a.m. (PDT) The Rialto Police Department began a standard drowning investigation and said there did not appear to be any foul play.

On August 23, 2012, King's autopsy results were released, stating he died of accidental drowning. The combination of alcohol, cocaine, and PCP found in his system were contributing factors, as were cardiomegaly and focal myocardial fibrosis. [90] The conclusion of the report stated: "The effects of the drugs and alcohol, combined with the subject's heart condition, probably precipitated a cardiac arrhythmia, and the subject, incapacitated in the water, was unable to save himself." [91]

Al Sharpton delivered the eulogy at King's funeral. King is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles County, California. [92] [93] [94]

Legacy

Rodney King has become a symbol of police brutality, but his family remembers him as a "human, not a symbol". [95] King never advocated for hatred or violence against the police, pleading, "Can we all get along?" [86] [96] Since his death, his daughter Lora King has worked with the LAPD to build bridges between the police and the black community. [97] She also started a nonprofit, the Rodney King Foundation, on behalf of her father. [98]

Films

Television

Music

Theatre

Literature

Other

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mark Fuhrman</span> American former police detective

Mark Fuhrman is a former detective of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). He is primarily known for his part in the investigation of the 1994 murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman in the O. J. Simpson murder case.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Los Angeles Police Department</span> Municipal police force in California, U.S.

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), officially known as the City of Los Angeles Police Department, is the municipal police department of Los Angeles, California. With 9,974 police officers and 3,000 civilian staff, it is the third-largest municipal police department in the United States, after the New York City Police Department and the Chicago Police Department.

Malice Green was an American resident of Detroit, Michigan who died after being assaulted by Detroit police officers Walter Budzyn and Larry Nevers on November 5, 1992. The official cause of death was ruled to be due to blunt force trauma to his head.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Daryl Gates</span> Chief of Los Angeles Police Department

Daryl Gates was the Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) from 1978 to 1992. His length of tenure in this position was second only to that of William H. Parker. As Chief of the LAPD, he took a hardline, aggressive, paramilitary approach to law enforcement that affected black and Latino Angelenos far more often than their white counterparts. Gates is co-credited with the creation of SWAT teams with LAPD's John Nelson, who others claim was the originator of SWAT in 1965. Gates also co-founded D.A.R.E.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Attack on Reginald Denny</span> Racially motivated attack during the 1992 L.A. riots

Reginald Oliver Denny is a former construction truck driver who was pulled from his truck and severely beaten during the 1992 Los Angeles riots. His attackers, a group of Black men who came to be known as the "L.A. Four", targeted Denny because he was White. The attack was captured on video by a news helicopter and broadcast live on U.S. national television.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1992 Los Angeles riots</span> 1992 riots following the beating of Rodney King

The 1992 Los Angeles riots, sometimes called the 1992 Los Angeles uprising and the Los Angeles Race Riots, were a series of riots and civil disturbances that occurred in Los Angeles County, California, in April and May 1992. Unrest began in South Central Los Angeles on April 29, after a jury acquitted four officers of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) charged with using excessive force in the arrest and beating of Rodney King. This incident had been videotaped and widely shown in television broadcasts.

Bloody Christmas was the name given to the severe beating of seven civilians by members of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) on December 25, 1951. The attacks, which left five Mexican American and two white young men with broken bones and ruptured organs, were properly investigated only after lobbying from the Mexican American community. The internal inquiry by Los Angeles Chief of Police William H. Parker resulted in eight police officers being indicted for the assaults, 54 being transferred, and 39 suspended.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Stacey Koon</span> American criminal and former police officer (born 1950)

Stacey Cornell Koon is an American convicted criminal and former sergeant with the Los Angeles Police Department. He is one of the four police officers who were responsible for beating Rodney King in 1991. He was sentenced to 2+12 years in federal prison in 1993 for his role in the beating.

Willie L. Williams was the chief of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) from 1992 to 1997, taking over after chief Daryl Gates' resignation following the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Williams was the first African-American Commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department and the first African-American Chief of the LAPD. During his term as Chief of the LAPD, he tried to create a positive image of the department and close the rift created between the police and black neighborhoods by the violent arrest of Rodney King in 1991.

The People of the State of California v. Orenthal James Simpson was a criminal trial in Los Angeles County Superior Court starting in 1994, in which O. J. Simpson, a former National Football League (NFL) player, broadcaster and actor, was tried and acquitted for the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. The pair were stabbed to death outside Brown's condominium in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles on the night of June 12, 1994. The trial spanned eleven months, from November 9, 1994.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Michael Zinzun</span> American politician

Michael Zinzun was an African American ex-Black Panther and anti-police brutality activist.

Crime in Los Angeles has varied throughout time, reaching peaks between the 1970s and 1990s. Since the early 2020s, crime has increased in Los Angeles as well as elsewhere in the United States.

This article lists examples of the ongoing influence on popular culture of the 1992 Los Angeles riots.

The West Las Vegas riots were sparked on April 29, 1992, after the Rodney King verdict, where all four white LAPD officers were acquitted for the beating of motorist Rodney King in Los Angeles, California. After the Los Angeles riots were sparked, Black residents of West Las Vegas started to loot and burned several stores. Gun battles had started with snipers at intersections and a white motorist was pulled from his vehicle and beaten.

Brian Liddy is a former officer of the Los Angeles Police Department. Liddy, together with Sgt. Edward Ortiz and former Officer Michael Buchanan, were the first to be charged with criminal wrongdoing in the Rampart Scandal. Liddy was both the highest-ranking and the most decorated LAPD officer to be directly implicated by Rafael Perez, based upon his testimony and allegations.

<i>Riot</i> (1997 film) 1997 TV movie directed by Galen Yuen

Riot is a 1997 American television film starring Luke Perry and Mario Van Peebles. It was written and directed by four writers and directors of four different racial groups prominent in Los Angeles. The title "Riot" refers to the Los Angeles riots of 1992 that were sparked by the beating of Rodney King, and the subsequent acquittal of the four police officers who beat him.

<i>The Riot Within</i> Autobiography by police brutality victim Rodney King

The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption is a 2012 autobiography of Rodney King (1965–2012). Known by a videotape as a victim of Los Angeles Police Department brutality, he became a civil rights icon. The book is co-authored by Lawrence J. Spagnola, an award-winning writer.

<i>Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982–1992</i> 2017 American film

Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982–1992 is a 2017 American documentary film directed by John Ridley about the decade preceding and including the 1992 Los Angeles riots. It was produced by Lincoln Square Productions, a subsidiary of ABC News, and was released in theaters in Los Angeles and New York on April 21, 2017. A shorter version aired on ABC on April 28, 2017. A rebroadcast of the film took place on June 16, 2020. The film has received critical acclaim.

<i>LA 92</i> (film) 2017 American film

LA 92 is a 2017 American documentary film about the 1992 Los Angeles riots, directed by Daniel Lindsay and T. J. Martin. It premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 21, 2017, opened in theaters on April 28, 2017 and aired on National Geographic Channel on April 30, 2017.

Stanley Martin Weisberg is a former prosecutor and Los Angeles County Superior Court judge known for presiding over the trials of the police officers charged with the beating of Rodney King, and of brothers Lyle and Erik Menendez, in the trial for the murder of their parents. In a number of cases, he made controversial rulings that were subject to criticism.

References

Citations

  1. 1 2 "Rodney King to marry juror from LA police beating case". BBC News. September 9, 2010.
  2. Lester, Paul Martin (2018). Visual Ethics: A Guide for Photographers, Journalists, and Filmmakers. Routledge. p. 85. ASIN   B07955S7GR.
  3. 1 2 Stevenson, Brenda E. (2015). The Contested Murder of Latasha Harlins: Justice, Gender, and the Origins of the LA Riots. Oxford University Press. p. 284.
  4. March 3, 1991: Rodney King beating caught on video CBS News
  5. Parvini, Sarah; Kim, Victoria (April 29, 2017). "25 years after racial tensions erupted, black and Korean communities reflect on L.A. riots". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved June 28, 2020.
  6. Post, Washington (June 18, 2012). "Rodney King, L.A. police beating victim, dies". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  7. 1 2 Phil Reeves (February 21, 1993). "Profile: An icon, anxious and shy: Rodney King – As he awaits a new trial of the police who beat him, Rodney King has become a hero, a demon, and a gold mine". The Independent. London. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
  8. King, Rodney (2012). The Riot Within: My Journey From Rebellion to Redemption. Harper One. pp. 12–15.
  9. 1 2 "Obits, Rodney King" . The Telegraph. United Kingdom. June 17, 2012. Archived from the original on January 11, 2022.
  10. "Rodney King". BuddyTV.com. Retrieved June 17, 2012.
  11. 1 2 3 Linder, D. (December 2001). "The Rodney King Beating Trials". Jurist. Archived from the original on December 3, 2009. Retrieved December 1, 2009.
  12. Linder, D. (2001). "The Trials of Los Angeles Police Officers' in Connection with the Beating of Rodney King". University of Missouri–Kansas City . Retrieved March 2, 2016.
  13. "Stacey C. Koon, Petitioner 94-1664 v. United States". University of Missouri–Kansas City. June 13, 1996. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
  14. Cannon. Official Negligence: p. 43.
  15. Mydans, Seth; Stevenson, Richard W.; Egan, Timothy (March 18, 1991). "Seven Minutes in Los Angeles – A special report; Videotaped Beating by Officers Puts Full Glare on Brutality Issue". The New York Times . Retrieved March 2, 2016.
  16. 1 2 Whitman, David (May 23, 1993). "The Untold Story of the LA Riot". U.S. News & World Report . Retrieved March 2, 2016.
  17. "An Account of the Los Angeles Police Officers' Trials (The Rodney King Beating Case)". law2.umkc.edu. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  18. David Whitman. "The Untold Story of the LA Riot". U.S. News & World Report.
  19. "Passenger Describes L.A. Police Beating Of Driver, Calls It Racial". The New York Times . March 21, 1991. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
  20. Newton, Jim (March 6, 1993). "Prosecutor Says Officers Hit Passenger in King's Car". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved November 10, 2014.
  21. Cannon. Official Negligence: p. 27.
  22. Matiash, Chelsea; Rothman, Lily (March 3, 2016). "Rodney King Beating at 25: What Happened in Los Angeles". Time. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  23. Serrano, Richard A. (March 18, 1992). "Bid for Officers' Acquittal Fails: King case: The judge, in rejecting the defense motion, rules that there is sufficient evidence to support a conviction of each defendant in the beating of the motorist". Los Angeles Times. ISSN   0458-3035 . Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  24. Cannon. Official Negligence: [ page needed ]
  25. Cannon, Lou (March 16, 1993). "Prosecution Rests Case in Rodney King Beating Archived March 5, 2016, at the Wayback Machine ". The Washington Post . Retrieved December 1, 2009.
  26. 1 2 3 4 5 The Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department (1991). Report of the Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department (Christopher Commission Report).
  27. Serrano, Richard A. (March 7, 1992). "CHP Officer Describes Chase, Beating of King : LAPD: One defendant tried to stop another's baton blows to motorist's head, she says". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  28. "Video: March 7, 1991: Video of Rodney King Beaten by Police Released". ABC News.
  29. Curry, George E. (June 23, 2012). "Rodney King symbolized police brutality". Milwaukee Courier Online. Retrieved August 25, 2022.
  30. Gray, D.E. (March 9, 2010). The Warrior in Me. ‎ Xlibris. p. 212. ISBN   978-1-4500-5797-4.
  31. Steve Myers (March 3, 2011). "How citizen journalism has changed since George Holliday's Rodney King video". Archived from the original on August 21, 2014. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
  32. "The Holliday Videotape, George Holliday Video of King Beating". University of Missouri Kansas City Law School.
  33. PBS.org Archived May 7, 2016, at the Wayback Machine The ACLU "Fighting Police Abuse: A Community Action Manual". Archived from the original on October 19, 2009. Retrieved November 9, 2008. draw connections between this event and the subsequent activities of many organizations designed to oversee police activities.
  34. "George Holliday, Who Shot The Video Of Officers Beating Rodney King, Has Died". NPR . Associated Press. September 21, 2021. Retrieved September 21, 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  35. 1 2 Cannon. Official Negligence: p. 205.
  36. "Rodney King Is Arrested After a Fight at His Home". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. September 30, 2005. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
  37. "Charges Against King Belatedly Dropped". Los Angeles Times. December 23, 1992. Retrieved May 24, 2014.
  38. Mydans, Seth (March 6, 1992). "Police Beating Trial Opens With Replay of Videotape". The New York Times. Retrieved April 20, 2010.
  39. Abcarian, Robin (May 7, 2017). "An aggravating anniversary for Simi Valley, where a not-guilty verdict sparked the '92 L.A. riots". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved May 7, 2017.
  40. "Rodney King Juror Talks About His Black Father and Family For the First Time". laist. April 28, 2012. Archived from the original on May 4, 2012. Retrieved March 8, 2013.
  41. 1 2 "After the riots; A Juror Describes the Ordeal of Deliberations". The New York Times. May 6, 1992. Retrieved March 4, 2011.
  42. "Jurist – The Rodney King Beating Trials". Jurist.law.pitt.edu. Archived from the original on August 26, 2010. Retrieved August 11, 2010.
  43. Law.umkc.edu Archived April 17, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  44. "Online NewsHour Forum: Authors' Corner with Lou Cannon – April 7, 1998". Pbs.org. Archived from the original on August 12, 2010. Retrieved August 11, 2010.
  45. Serrano, Richard A. (April 30, 1992). "All 4 Acquitted in King Beating : Verdict Stirs Outrage; Bradley Calls It Senseless: Trial: Ventura County jury rejects charges of excessive force in episode captured on videotape. A mistrial is declared on one count against Officer Powell". Los Angeles Times. ISSN   0458-3035 . Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  46. Linder, D. "videotape". Law.umkc.edu. Archived from the original on August 23, 2010. Retrieved August 11, 2010.
  47. The American edition of the National Geographic Channel aired the program "The Final Report: The LA Riots" on October 4, 2006 10 pm EDT, approximately 27 minutes into the hour (including commercial breaks).
  48. Cannon, L. (2002). Official Negligence: How Rodney King and the Riots Changed Los Angeles and the LAPD. Basic Books. ISBN   0-8133-3725-9
  49. CNN Documentary Race + Rage: The Beating of Rodney King, aired originally on March 5, 2011; approximately 14 minutes into the hour (not including commercial breaks).
  50. "Shielded from Justice: Los Angeles: The Christopher Commission Report". www.hrw.org. Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  51. Margolick, David (March 17, 1991). "Beating Case Unfolds, as Does Debate on Lawyer". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  52. Mydans, Seth (April 30, 1992). The videotape was largely thought to have helped inflame the riot. "The Police Verdict; Los Angeles Policemen Acquitted in Taped Beating Archived April 22, 2016, at the Wayback Machine ". The New York Times . Retrieved December 1, 2009.
  53. Fiske, J. Media Matters: Race and Gender in U.S. Politics. University of Minnesota Press. p.  188.
  54. "History called it a riot, but this doc argues it was actually an uprising – one that continues today". CBC. Retrieved November 14, 2020.
  55. Vyhnak, Carola (May 4, 2017). "Once Upon A City: The 1992 riot that served as a wake-up call for police". Toronto Star . Retrieved December 26, 2020.
  56. 1 2 Video of Rodney King's Plea during the 1992 Los Angeles Riots on YouTube. Retrieved June 18, 2012.
  57. Linder, D. (2001). "The Trials of Los Angeles Police Officers' in Connection with the Beating of Rodney King". law2.umkc.edu. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
  58. Mydans, Seth (March 10, 2003). "Rodney King Testifies on Beating: 'I Was Just Trying to Stay Alive'". The New York Times . Retrieved March 5, 2009.
  59. "Koon v. United States, 518 U.S. 81 (1996)".
  60. Rogers, John (April 26, 2017). "A look at prominent figures in 1992 riot, where are they now". Associated Press. Retrieved September 18, 2021.
  61. 1 2 3 Newton, Jim (August 5, 1993). "Koon, Powell get two and half years in prison". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  62. Meyer, Greg (March 10, 2011). "Rodney King, 20 years later". PoliceOne. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  63. Greenhouse, Linda (June 14, 1996). "The Supreme Court: Sentencing; Court Upholds Sentence in King Case". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  64. 1 2 King, Rodney (2012). The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption. HarperCollins Book.
  65. "LOS ANGELES : 2 Passengers in King's Car Settle Suits for $55,000". Los Angeles Times. February 8, 1994.
  66. "Passenger With King on Night of Beating Is Killed in Car Crash". Los Angeles Times. June 30, 1991.
  67. Madison Gray (May 2007). "The L.A. Riots: 15 Years After Rodney King". Time. Archived from the original on April 29, 2007.
  68. Bates, K. G., "Rodney King Comes To Grips With 'The Riot Within'", NPR, April 23, 2012.
  69. 1 2 "LOS ANGELES: Rodney King's Wife Files Petition for Divorce". Los Angeles Times. November 29, 1995.
  70. 1 2 "Rodney King's Wife Files Petition for Divorce". Los Angeles Times. November 29, 1995. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
  71. 1 2 Reston, Maeve (November 30, 2007). "Rodney King shot while riding bike". Los Angeles Times . Archived from the original on October 13, 2008. Retrieved December 1, 2009.
  72. "Rodney King slams SUV into house, breaks pelvis". CNN. April 16, 2003. Archived from the original on December 11, 2007.
  73. "Report: Rodney King Shot in the Face | Fox News". Fox News . March 25, 2015. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  74. "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew". TV Guide . June 23, 2008. p. 8.
  75. "Sober House will follow Celebrity Rehab cast, Andy Dick in sober living". reality blurred. December 19, 2008.
  76. Thompson, Elise. "Rodney King Forgives Officers Who Beat Him — LAist". Archived from the original on February 24, 2009. Retrieved December 30, 2009.
  77. "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, Episode 3.6 ("Triggers")". VH1. February 11, 2010.
  78. Stamm, Dan (August 19, 2009). "No Plan to 'Get Along' When Rodney King Takes on Former Cop". NBC Philadelphia. Retrieved December 1, 2009.
  79. "Rodney King stopped after traffic violation, police say". Los Angeles Times . March 4, 2011.
  80. "Rodney King once again runs afoul of the law, cited for expired license in Arcadia". Pasadena Star-News. June 2012. Archived from the original on April 10, 2011.
  81. Wilson, Stan (April 12, 2012). "Rodney King pleads for calm in Trayvon Martin case". CNN. Retrieved April 12, 2012.
  82. "Los Angeles riots: Rodney King funeral held". BBC News. July 1, 2012.
  83. Grigsby Bates, Karen (April 23, 2012). "Rodney King Comes To Grips With 'The Riot Within'". Morning Edition. NPR. Author interview.
  84. "Nonfiction Book Review". Publishers Weekly. May 28, 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  85. "Rodney King dead at 47". CNN. June 17, 2012. Retrieved June 17, 2012.
  86. 1 2 "Rodney King found dead". CBS News. June 17, 2012. Archived from the original on June 18, 2012.
  87. "The Rodney King We Never Knew". MTV News. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  88. "911 call reveals frantic moments, fiancee's pleas after finding Rodney King submerged in pool". The Washington Post . AP. June 18, 2012. Archived from the original on June 19, 2012. Retrieved June 20, 2012.
  89. Jennifer Medina (June 17, 2012). "Police Beating Victim Who Asked 'Can We All Get Along?'". The New York Times .
  90. "Coroner's report on Rodney King death". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  91. Wilson, Stan (August 23, 2012). "Autopsy attributes Rodney King's death to drowning". CNN. Retrieved August 23, 2012.
  92. Curwen, Thomas; Banks, Sandy (June 30, 2012). "Mourners arrive for Rodney King service at Forest Lawn-Hollywood Hills". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved September 13, 2014.
  93. "Rodney King Laid To Rest At Forest Lawn". CBS Los Angeles . CBS. June 30, 2012. Retrieved September 13, 2014.
  94. "Rodney King honored at his funeral". Newsday . June 30, 2014. Retrieved September 13, 2014.
  95. Jennings, Angel (March 3, 2016). "Rodney King's daughter remembers a human being, not a symbol" . Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  96. Kiner, Deb (May 1, 2019). "On this day in 1992 Rodney King asked, 'Can't we all just get along?'". Penn Live . Retrieved March 26, 2021.
  97. "Rodney King's Daughter Stands With LAPD 25 Years After Dad's Beating". Huffington Post. September 19, 2016. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  98. "About Us". Rodney King Foundation. Archived from the original on March 9, 2021. Retrieved March 20, 2021.
  99. Blacula. "Psycho Cop Returns (AKA Psycho Cop 2) (1993)". Black Horror Movies. Retrieved February 21, 2022.
  100. Travers, Ben (April 24, 2017). "How Kurt Russell Redefined Heroism in 'Dark Blue,' An LA Riots Story 15 Years Ahead of Its Time". IndieWire. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  101. "Ice Cube: 'Police Have Become Our Worst Bullies'". Billboard.
  102. Henderson, Odie (April 27, 2018). "Kings movie review & film summary". Roger Ebert. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  103. Henderson, Danielle (February 2, 2016). "'The People v. O.J. Simpson' Premiere: The 'Trial of the Century' Retold (Published 2016)". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  104. "Smash Mouth – Walkin' on the Sun" via genius.com.
  105. Wren, Celia (July 11, 2014). "In Roger Guenveur Smith's 'Rodney King,' a whispered evocation of the L.A. riots". The Washington Post. ISSN   0190-8286 . Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  106. "Springboard for the Arts welcomes writer to residency – The Fergus Falls Daily Journal". The Fergus Falls Daily Journal. February 8, 2019. Retrieved June 11, 2019.

Further reading