When people hear the term “police brutality,” there’s always a good chance that they’ll think of the impact caused by the LAPD’s crimes against Rodney King and the aftermath of the footage caught during the event. The people of Los Angeles took to the streets to protest the brutality and of course, started one of the bloodiest riots in America.
Police brutality caught on tape
The Rodney King case was one of the first that had footage which aired all over the world. The incident raised public concern regarding the treatment of police towards minorities in the US.
KTLA obtains the footage
George Holliday managed to capture the beating on video from his balcony. He ended up submitting the video to KTLA, the local news station.
Rodney King’s injuries
According to King, he had suffered from “11 skull fractures, permanent brain damage, broken [bones and teeth], kidney failure [and] emotional and physical trauma” However, official records reveal that he had actually, “suffered a fractured facial bone, a broken right ankle, and multiple bruises and lacerations.”
Indictment of officers involved
Officers Koon, Powell, Briseno and Wind where charged with use of excessive force and assault with a deadly weapon.
Acquittal of the 4 white officers
After being charged, a grand jury (8-4 in favor) acquitted the officers that were involved with Rodney King’s beatings. This decision became the catalyst for the 6-day LA Riots.
The beginning of the riots
After the acquittal, people took to the streets to show their outrage over the decision. It only took a few hours from the decision for people to get violent, especially since race played a major role in the issue.
Rodney King’s plea
During the riots, Rodney King made a plea for the people to just get along and stop all the violence. He assured the people that they’ll be getting their day in court and justice will be served.
State of emergency
A state of emergency was announced for the city of Los Angeles. 1,100 Marines, 600 Army soldiers, and 6,500 National Guard were deployed to patrol the streets and keep the peace.
Re-trial for the four officers
A re-trial was done for the case and officers Koon and Powell were found guilty of violating King’s civil rights. On the other hand, Wind and Briseno were not found guilty.
Compensation for damages
King was initially offered $200,000 and a four-year college scholarship by then-LA mayor, Tom Bradley. However, King refused and sued the city, winning $3.8 million in the process.
$1 million for every blow
King initially asked for $56 million in damages. That’s a $1 million compensation for every blow he received.
Further arrests of Rodney King
After the issue died down, Rodney King had a string of arrests that followed, most of which involved him driving a car under the influence of alcohol.
Because of his alcoholism, he was adviced to seek refuge in a rehabilitation facility in order to turn his life around.
Reality TV star
King became a cast member of the 2nd season of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. He stayed in the Pasadena Recovery Center and revealed that his alcoholism was the result of the trauma he had received from the beatings.
Symbol of police brutality
Despite being a victim of police brutality, Rodney King never developed any hatred or resentment towards police officers. His daughter, Lori, works with the LAPD to develop a relationship with minorities in the city.