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
- 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).