Los Angeles riots figure Rodney King found dead

Markhor

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-18478979

Rodney King, the African American at the centre of the Los Angeles riots 20 years ago, has been found dead aged 47.

His fiancee found his body at the bottom of a swimming pool, but there was no sign of foul play.

King was a victim of police brutality in 1991, but the officers involved were acquitted the following year.

The verdict triggered clashes between rioters and police which left more than 50 dead, thousands injured and thousands of properties destroyed.

Rialto Police Captain Randy Deanda said on Sunday King was found "unresponsive" at the bottom of his pool and was pronounced dead at 06:11 (13:11 GMT).

Rodney King's beating at the hands of the police, which left him with brain damage, was filmed by a bystander and shown by media outlets across the world.

He had been stopped for speeding on a dark street on 3 March 1991. The four LA police officers who pulled him over hit him more than 50 times with their batons, kicked him and shot him with stun guns.

The BBC's Alistair Leithead in Los Angeles says the iconic images of his beating had a huge impact on an already tense Los Angeles.

Eventually, the whole chain of events had a profound impact on the way race was dealt with in the US, our correspondent says.

A later trial resulted in two of the four officers being jailed. King sued the City of Los Angeles and won $3.8m (£2.5m) compensation.

The rioting that gripped LA in the wake of the original not-guilty verdict went on for days, leaving 50 people dead and causing $1bn of damage to the city.

King went on television three days into the rioting to call for calm, pleading that everyone "just get along" - years later he said he wanted that statement to be his legacy.

The Los Angeles Police Department itself was forced to change in the wake of the Rodney King case, which highlighted widespread racism in the largely white, male force.

It was not uncommon for officers to describe African-Americans as "monkeys" and "gorillas", and some police bragged about beating suspects over their patrol car radios.

An independent commission was set up to investigate the issue, chaired by future US Secretary of State Warren Christopher.

It recommended boosting multiculturalism in the police force and the LAPD had slowly shifted to a more community-focused style of policing.

As for Rodney King himself, he got engaged to one of the jurors from his trial and published a book in 2012 titled "The Riot Within: My Journey From Rebellion to Redemption".

But he also struggled with drug and alcohol abuse and had several brushes with the law over the years, and he eventually lost all his money.

The Los Angeles Police Department said that at this time it had no comment to make on the death of King, adding that the death had occurred in Rialto, out of its jurisdicton.
Whatever people's opinions are on the riots that ensued after the infamous footage - RIP to Rodney King, whose beating he suffered at the hands of police officers exposed institutional racism and police brutality towards black people.
 
I don't think Rodney King was a good bloke but the beating the LA cops gave him was very brutal. I don't blame the black community for the rioting, there is only so much people can take.
 
What scared me is that most American white people I spoke to reckoned that the beating he took was justified.
 
Good thing in America is that White people are mixing with Blacks and Asians rapidly especially with Blacks.

Almost 10% of Marriages happening every year are interracial. Most of these marriages are between Whites and blacks.
Looks like 1n another 50yrs, very few white people(100% ) will be left and almost all of the black people have white blood in them. This should put a complete end to Racism.

Most will look brown and Indians can come to USA and look normal in the crowd :yk
 
Good thing in America is that White people are mixing with Blacks and Asians rapidly especially with Blacks.

Almost 10% of Marriages happening every year are interracial. Most of these marriages are between Whites and blacks.
Looks like 1n another 50yrs, very few white people(100% ) will be left and almost all of the black people have white blood in them. This should put a complete end to Racism.

Most will look brown and Indians can come to USA and look normal in the crowd :yk

why is there so much effort all over the world to preserve different species of wildlife? at the sametime its racist for any human race to want to survive and exist?

I am not white, but am still trying to figure this one out.
 
why is there so much effort all over the world to preserve different species of wildlife? at the sametime its racist for any human race to want to survive and exist?

I am not white, but am still trying to figure this one out.

I hope you are being sarcastic: equating species with races ?
Are you hinting that the white race is at danger of extinction ?
 
Many Americans have a very submissive attitude to the police, anyone a victim of police brutality is believed to deserve it, there are videos of police choking 12 year old boys, beating women, tasering passive protestors, beating a homeless person to death for not keeiping his hands behind his head and so on.
And half the comments are always like "if he obeyed them, he wouldnt be dead", "if he didnt join a campus protest, he wouldnt be tasered", and so on
Recently a pregnant Black woman was tasered for tearing a parking ticket, and some comments actually said she should have her children taken away as she is not fit to be a mother (for not respecting police).
Then again, the comments may reflect nutcases
 
Almost 10% of Marriages happening every year are interracial. Most of these marriages are between Whites and blacks.
Looks like 1n another 50yrs, very few white people(100% ) will be left and almost all of the black people have white blood in them. This should put a complete end to Racism.

If only 10% are marrying another race, I'd give it more than 50 years.

There will always be some who refuse to marry ouside their race.
 
I'm not sure if people know this but during those riots Asians were the ultimate victims. Blacks have always targeted Asian American community every time there was a riot in LA. Especially Korean American business owners were the worst hit. New Jersey experienced racial riots and Indian Americans were targeted by black groups during early 80s. Recently in Wisconsin, black youths brutally attacked whites and whites specifically causing several injuries. You hardly get to hear these stories in the media. Every ethnic group is racist one way or another...can't just associate racism with Whites only. There is a huge media bias in US when it comes to reporting racial cases involving White victims.
 
The camera used to film the beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police in 1991, a case that triggered deadly race riots, is to be auctioned this week.

Nate D Sanders Auctions in LA will take bids for the Sony Video8 Handycam on Thursday.

The police brutality against King was filmed on the camera by bystander George Holliday.

The beating left King with brain damage, but the white officers involved were acquitted a year later.

The case had a profound effect on race relations and the use of force by police in the US.

Mr Holliday's footage of the beating, filmed from the balcony of his apartment, is considered to be the first viral video of policy brutality and an early example of citizen journalism.

The footage foreshadowed the use of mobile phones to record police abuse, as seen in the recent death of African-American George Floyd in custody.

Bidding for Mr Holliday's camera will begin at $225,000 (£174,948), the auction house said.

"I hope this video camera inspires people to use their power to record events that they find troubling. Don't be afraid to use it," Mr Holliday, a self-employed plumber, told the auction house.

The camera comes with a notarised letter of authenticity by Mr Holliday.

The batteries have been removed to protect the camera, which is no longer functional but remains in good condition otherwise. The tape of King's beating is not included.

What happened to Rodney King?

King, then a construction worker, was stopped for speeding on a dark street in LA on 3 March 1991.

The four LA police officers who pulled him over hit him dozens of times with their batons, kicked him and shot him with stun guns.

Unbeknown to the officers, Mr Holliday filmed the beating and shared the tape with a local TV station, whipping up national and global outrage.

The four officers were later tried on charges of use of excessive force, but none of them were convicted.

The rioting that gripped LA in the wake of the not-guilty verdicts went on for days, leaving 50 people dead and causing $1bn of damage to the city.

King went on television three days into the rioting to call for calm, pleading that everyone "just get along". Years later, he said he wanted that statement to be his legacy.

In 2012, King told the Los Angeles Times that while he had come to terms with his broader legacy, dealing with the past had not been easy.

"I sometimes feel like I'm caught in a vice," he said. "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."

In an interview with El Pais in 2017, Mr Holliday said he bumped into King at a petrol station about a year after the riots, having never spoken to him.

"He [King] said to me, 'You saved my life.' I didn't know what to say. We shook hands and said goodbye," Mr Holliday said.

King died at the age of 47. His death was ruled an accidental drowning, after his fiancée discovered his body at the bottom of a swimming pool in 2012.

What impact did the case have?
While the use of excessive force was not uncommon in that era, what made the King beating unusual is that it was captured on camera.

Broadcast on TV screens globally, the graphic footage shocked the world, leading to calls for police reform to root out racism and the use of excessive force.

The Los Angeles Police Department was forced to change after the King case, which highlighted widespread racism in the largely white, male force.

It was not uncommon for officers to describe African-Americans as "monkeys" and "gorillas", and some police bragged about beating suspects over their patrol car radios.

How 1992 changed the police
A commission, led by future US Secretary of State Warren Christopher, was set up to investigate the LAPD and its practices.

It recommended boosting multiculturalism in the police force and the LAPD slowly shifted to a more community-focused style of policing.

The video of King's beating ushered in the modern era of citizenship journalism, where bystanders film incidents of police brutality and share them online.

It also laid the groundwork for the anti-police brutality movements, such as Black Lives Matter, which has led racial-justice protests around the world in 2020.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-53565749
 
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