Rodney Glen King (April 2, 1965 – June 17, 2012) was an African-American resident of Los Angeles who was violently arrested by officers of the L.A. Police Department. The event was videotaped by a bystander, and the incident raised a public outcry among those who believed it was a racially motivated and gratuitous attack. The acquittal in a state court of the four defendants, charged with using excessive force, provided the spark that led to the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
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- People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along? Can we stop making it, making it horrible for the older people and the kids? … It’s just not right. It’s not right. It’s not, it’s not going to change anything. We’ll, we’ll get our justice … Please, we can get along here. We all can get along. I mean, we’re all stuck here for a while. Let’s try to work it out. Let’s try to beat it. Let’s try to beat it. Let’s try to work it out.
- King appealing for calm during the Los Angeles riots (May 1, 1992).
- It made me feel like I was back in slavery days.
- King reflecting on the beating 15 Years Later, Rodney King Looks Back, NPR (March 3, 2006).
- You know, before when (the police went) to work, they used to be like, 'I'm gonna kick somebody's ass today and so I hope I can catch somebody in a bad situation or breaking the law, because I'm gonna beat someone's ass in a big way, I think that attitude has changed.
- King's point of view on how things have changed since the incident Five years later, wounds from L.A. riots still sting (April 29, 1997).
Quotes about Rodney King
- By the time 1991 rolled around and a young buck named Rodney King had his brains bashed in by four LA cops — three white and one Mexican — who largely left his two partners-in-crime alone because they stayed on the ground and didn’t keep getting up to attack them, much of America had been conditioned into automatically assuming that “racism” was to blame and didn’t even pause to wonder whether Rodney had possibly done something that contributed to the situation. A year later, when the cops were acquitted of state charges in the beating, Los Angeles and several other cities erupted in flames.
- Jim Goad, The Second Mrs. O. J. Simpson?, Counter-Currents (March 17, 2022).