Rodney King Dies at the age of 47
Rodney King, the man who became famous after his videotaped beating in 1991, is dead at the age of 47. King’s beating after a high-speed chase set the nation on fire, as well as much of Los Angeles. The four officers involved in the beating were acquitted, leading to a racial firestorm and debates for many years to come.
King was 25-years old at the time of the attack. He was on parole for a robbery that took place in April 1991. He said that he was drinking and headed to a friend’s house when he saw a police car following him. Fearing that he might go back to prison, King tried to get away.
“I had a job to go to that Monday, and I knew I was on parole, and I knew I wasn’t supposed to be drinking, and I’m like ‘Oh, my God,’” he told CNN.
When King knew that he wouldn’t be able to get away, he found a place to pull over. That’s when the beating took place. He was stunned and beaten by officers in a vicious manner. The public never would have known what happened had it not been for an amateur videotape taken of the beating that was released to the media.
“I saw all those apartments over there, so I said, ‘I’m gonna stop right there,’” he said. “‘If it goes down, somebody will see it.’”
“We are going to kill you, n***er,” are the words King says he heard from the officers. But officers deny using any racial slurs during the incident.
“We finally caught the Loch Ness Monster with a camcorder,” King attorney Milton Grimes said.
Theodore Briseno, Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind and Sgt. Stacey Koon were indicted on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and excessive use of force by an officer. They were acquitted on the charges by an all-white jury in Simi Valley, a suburb of Los Angeles.