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“SOMEONE IS ALWAYS WATCHING” Rodney King: 1991- 27 years old now is 46 years old George Holliday- Lake View Terrace resident • •

Twenty years ago, what should have been a routine traffic stop on a San Fernando Valley freeway escalated into an altercation that forever changed policing - and race relations - in Los Angeles. The incident began after King who later admitted to driving drunk - refused to stop when California Highway Patrol officers tried to pull him over for erratic driving. The LAPD joined in the high-speed chase, which ended at Osborne Street and Foothill Boulevard in Lake View Terrace. With a police helicopter hovering overhead, officers kicked, tasered and beat King, leaving him with crushed bones, shattered teeth, kidney damage and a fractured skull. The attack was captured by George Holliday, who lived nearby and grabbed his new video camera when he was awakened by police sirens. Two of the four officers who were acquitted in Simi Valley, Sgt. Stacey Koon and Laurence Powell, were convicted of federal

civil rights violations and served 30 months in prison March 3, 1991: Rodney King beaten. Just after midnight March 3, 1991, Rodney King was speeding on the 210 freeway in Los Angeles when a police officer started pursuing him. After King led them on a high-speed chase, he was pulled out of his car. Nearby resident George Holliday videotaped four white officers beating King, who is black. Holliday sold the tape to a local television station and the videotape stunned the nation a day later after CNN aired the footage. March 5, 1991: Officers arrested. Two days after the beating, Sgt.Stacey Koon, Officer Laurence Powell, Officer Timothy Wind and Officer Theodore Briseno were arrested. They were charged with assault and using excessive force. March 5, 1991: Officers arrested. Two days after the beating, Sgt.Stacey Koon, Officer Laurence Powell, Officer Timothy Wind and Officer Theodore Briseno were arrested. They were charged with assault and using excessive force. Feb. 25, 1993: Civil rights trial starts. The four officers had a federal civil rights trial in Los Angeles. Separate from the original state trial, federal prosecutors alleged the beating was racially motivated, which prompted the lawsuit. April 16, 1993: Powell and Koon are convicted of civil rights violations and spend 30 months in federal prison. Briseno and Wind are acquitted. No riots were reported after this new trial.


April 19, 1994: King awarded damages. After a civil trial in which King sued the city of Los Angeles for damages, a jury awarded him $3.8 million. In another civil trial against the four officers, a jury gave King no money after he asked for $15 million. December 1995: Officers released. The two officers who spent time in federal prison were released after fulfilling their entire sentences. Powell and Koon did not work for law enforcement again.

(LA Times) “Twenty years after the beating of Rodney King, the LAPD is a changed operation” • The nine minutes of grainy video footage he captured of Los Angeles police beating Rodney King helped to spur dramatic reforms in a department that many felt operated with impunity. • "Early on in their training, I always tell them, 'I don't care if you're in a bathroom taking care of your personal business…. Whatever you do, assume it will be caught on video,' " said Sgt. Heather Fungaroli, who supervises recruits at the LAPD's academy.

"We tell them if they're doing the right thing then they have no reason to worry." "At the time of King it was just fortuitous that someone had a camera," Geoff Alpert said. "Things are a whole lot more transparent now and if you're going to do something stupid, then you're going to pay for your stupidity." (expert on police misconduct)

Rodney King  

10 years later