Infamous Rodney King Found Dead


rodney-kingRodney King, the black motorist whose 1991 videotaped beating by Los Angeles police officers was the touchstone for one of the most destructive race riots in the nation’s history, has died, his publicist said Sunday. King was 47.

His death was confirmed by Suzanne Wickham of Harper Collins, who published King’s 2012 book “The Riot Within .My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption.”

The 1992 riots, set off by the acquittals of the officers, lasted three days and left 55 people dead, more than 2,000 injured and swaths of Los Angeles on fire. At the height of the violence, King pleaded on television: “Can we all get along?”

King was stopped for speeding on a darkened street on March 3, 1991. Four Los Angeles police officers hit him more than 50 times with their batons, kicked him and shot him with stun guns.

A man who had quietly stepped outside his home to observe the commotion videotaped most of it and turned a copy over to a TV station. It was played over and over for the following year, inflaming racial tensions across the country.

It seemed that the videotape would be the key evidence to a guilty verdict against the officers, whose trial was moved to the predominantly white suburb of Simi Valley, Calif. Instead, on April 29, 1992, a jury with no black members acquitted three of the officers; a mistrial was declared for a fourth.

Violence erupted immediately, starting in South Los Angeles.

Police, seemingly caught off-guard, were quickly outnumbered by rioters and retreated. As the uprising spread to the city’s Koreatown area, shop owners armed themselves and engaged in running gun battles with looters.

During the riots, a white truck driver named Reginald Denny was pulled by several black men from his cab and beaten almost to death. He required surgery to repair his shattered skull, reset his jaw and put one eye back into its socket.

The police chief, Daryl Gates, came under intense criticism from city officials who said officers were slow to respond to the riots. He was forced to retire. Gates died of cancer in 2010.

In the two decades after he became the central figure in the riots, King was arrested several times, mostly for alcohol-related crimes. He later became a record company executive.

In an interview earlier this year with The Associated Press, King said he was a happy man.

“America’s been good to me after I paid the price and stayed alive through it all,” he says. “This part of my life is the easy part now.”

{Fox News/ Newscenter}


  1. Why is he infamous? If you check your dictionary, that word has avery negative meaning – certainly not earned by speeding. Seeing that he himself pled on TV for the riots to stop, he certainly couldn’t be held personally responsible for the riots.

    Getting arrested for being drunk is also not the crime of the century – getting drunk – and occasionally being arrested for it – is a major American pastime and always has been.

    Maybe you’re referring to his becoming a realty-TV star. Now that could be infamous….

  2. I can hear the words of Rav Millr Zt”L, echoing in my ears: “Reshaim usealy don’t live long, thair end comes quick, and if not in this world they get it in the next world.”

  3. Why is he “infamous”? You do realize that infamous implies that the person in question is a villain. This guy was beaten nearly to death by savage LAPD cops. They are infamous. Not him.

  4. The reason why Matzav used the word “infamouus” is because they are a bunch of clueless undeucated ignoramnt fools!!!

  5. This man is not a villain at all. Calling him infamous is wrong, and out of character! The poor guy was beaten to death, it isn’t his fault that the Blacks rioted on his behalf, he happened to have support from his brethren, does that consider him infamous? A Rasha? The commenter quoting Reb Avgdor Miler Z.L. is also off the mark. The guy was nearly beaten to death for a minor offense, would you appreciate that done to you?

  6. He’s infamous an a violent hooligan. He wasn’t just drunk. He was drugged up and speeding. And when he was apprehended by the police, he reacted violently assaulting the cops. Which resulted in the cops subduing him with justifiable force.

  7. He was an evil villain and good riddance to bad rubbish.

    The police were correctly found to be innocent originally but George Bush the first forced them to be convicted. Beating up violent offenders stops their evil deeds and serves as a warning for others. Today this is impossible and crime is rampant.

    This has released all the criminals of the world on law abiding citizens.

    When you hear about all the black flash mobs running wild in the streets with no one stopping them, it is the result of this insane ruling that Bush forced.

  8. Some of you might be a little to young to remember (I certainly am) but race riots happened well before this Mr. King was beaten. That said, anyone who thinks “justifiable force” includes being beaten with batons by multiple police officers over 50 times is crazy. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

  9. Infamous?!?!?!? Why is he infamous? Because he was a victim of police brutality? Because he asked everyone to stop the violence?