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Rodney King Dead at 47: Icon or Agitator?

News 2012/06/18 18:26:37
Related Topics: Rodney King, Drowned
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Rodney King, the victim of an infamous incident of police brutality in 1991, was found dead at the bottom of his swimming pool Sunday morning. According to police, there are no signs of foul play, and the death is being ruled as accidental. It will take six to eight weeks for toxicology reports to come through. He was 47 years old at the time of his death.

The 1991 brutality incident made national headlines when a bystander sent in video footage, and the aquittal of three of the officers contributed to the beginning of the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Earlier this year, King told The Times, "I sometimes feel like I'm caught in a vise. 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." Do you think King was an civil rights icon?


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  • MkB 2012/06/18 21:26:11 (edited)
    Agitator
    MkB
    +33
    King started a dangerous high speed car chase because he was intoxicated and didn't want to violate his parole for a 1989 store robbery. I'm not making excuses for the police brutality. That was uncalled for.

    I feel empathy for Reginald Denny, an innocent truck driver who happened to be driving in the wrong place at the wrong time and got hit on his head by a brick by a black man who didn't give a damn if he killed Denny or not.

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Opinions

  • Michael 2012/06/19 01:30:29
    Agitator
    Michael
    +5
    Rodney King was not a victim.He refused to submit to being arrested after a drunken, high speed chase, endangering other innocent drivers on the highway, whereas his companions did comply and were not touched in the process. Why can't people admit this!
  • Deborah... Michael 2012/06/19 01:45:05
    DeborahLakeHelen
    +1
    You are 100% Correct!
  • Lt. Fred Michael 2012/06/19 03:00:46
    Lt. Fred
    Why don't you finish that sentence?

    "Rodney King was not a victim.He refused to submit to being arrested after a drunken, high speed chase, endangering other innocent drivers on the highway... and was then severely beaten, in violation of the law, by white police officers who were not punished for that offence. I believe that white police should be allowed to break the law."
  • Michael Lt. Fred 2012/06/19 16:21:39
    Michael
    you with very much conviction, speak of "breaking the law", but that was not proven to be the case in a COURT OF LAW. Do you just cherry pick you own convenient laws to obey?
  • Lt. Fred Michael 2012/06/20 21:28:21 (edited)
    Lt. Fred
    The police clearly broke the law; they certainly committed the acts they were accused of, those acts are clearly a violation of law and the police had no applicable defence apart from their colour (which ultimately worked). However, a higher court overturned the charging court's race-based decision, sending the police to jail for decades. Two of those officers are currently in jail right now.

    {Do you just cherry pick you own convenient laws to obey?}

    I think that's more a question for you, isn't it?
  • Michael Lt. Fred 2012/07/29 19:40:29
    Michael
    FACT CHECK:The officers are NOT in jail now! But by your response I guess you think a life sentence would be in order...However, 56 people did died during the riots! Was that a more appropriate punishment for societies ills!

    STACEY KOON:
    Koon was the police sergeant in charge when Rodney King was beaten. A 14-year veteran of the LAPD who had been commended repeatedly for his work, he has always maintained that King's arrest was handled properly. In his book, "Presumed Guilty: The Tragedy of the Rodney King Affair," Koon blamed the riot on the news media and city officials.

    Acquitted of criminal charges, he was later convicted of violating King's civil rights and sentenced to 30 months in prison. Koon, 61, retired after the King beating and lives in an LA suburb.

    LAURENCE POWELL:
    Powell is the officer seen on the video hitting King more than 40 times. Acquitted of criminal charges, he was convicted of violating King's civil rights and sentenced to 30 months in prison. Powell, who lives in the San Diego area, has said he will no longer discuss the incident.
  • Lt. Fred Michael 2012/08/06 07:23:45
    Lt. Fred
    {The officers are NOT in jail now!}

    My mistake; they were sentenced to 30 MONTHS in prison, rather than YEARS. Obviously they've served their time. Of course, they remain convicted criminals.

    {However, 56 people did died during the riots! Was that a more appropriate punishment for societies ills!}

    Did a jury acquit any of the people responsible for those deaths, despite overwhelming evidence, on a racial basis? Then it's not comparable.

    {Koon was the police sergeant in charge when Rodney King was beaten. A 14-year veteran of the LAPD who had been commended repeatedly for his work, he has always maintained that King's arrest was handled properly.}

    But he was lying.
  • Resizstance 2012/06/19 01:23:56
    Agitator
    Resizstance
    +7
    DAMN! Now we'll nev... nev... Never.... get alo...get alooo...alooon...Along!!!
  • Deborah... Resizst... 2012/06/19 01:45:31
    DeborahLakeHelen
    +2
    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL
  • Apache Deborah... 2012/06/19 19:41:21
  • Deborah... Apache 2012/06/19 19:47:00
    DeborahLakeHelen
    You're good.
  • meme14 2012/06/19 01:23:21 (edited)
    Icon
    meme14
    He unwittingly became a symbol of what police brutality looks like - Or at least it seemed to be especially brutal - I think at the time that it all happened video cameras were just becoming widely available to people and so a lot of people were seeing the police in action for the first time..I, personally, think it was excessive force..I mean subdue the man and be done with it..that doesn't justify what happened later though..but, Rodney King definitely wasn't an agitator - he called for an end to all of the violence.
  • apachehellfire65 2012/06/19 01:21:53
    Agitator
    apachehellfire65
    +8
    in truth i have always just thought of him as a drunk that mouthed off too the wrong people.
  • Lt. Fred apacheh... 2012/06/19 03:01:19
    Lt. Fred
    And was then beaten by police, in violation of law.
  • apacheh... Lt. Fred 2012/06/19 10:56:25
    apachehellfire65
    +1
    having your claim to fame be just that you took a beating is a dubious honor.
  • Lt. Fred apacheh... 2012/06/19 11:53:40
    Lt. Fred
    Which is irrelevant. He deserved justice, and did not receive it. That is what is important.
  • apacheh... Lt. Fred 2012/06/19 14:29:17
    apachehellfire65
    +1
    who say's? on re trial i seem to remember the cops going to prison.
  • Apache apacheh... 2012/06/19 19:40:35
  • Lt. Fred Apache 2012/06/19 20:46:34
    Lt. Fred
    Do you think Texan police are more likely to break the law?
  • Lt. Fred apacheh... 2012/06/19 20:46:16
    Lt. Fred
    Okay, so the federal court system works. But the local court system- the system that sees most cases- was overtly, openly racist.
  • Tee Quake 2012/06/19 01:16:14
    Icon
    Tee Quake
    +1
    Rodney King was a Black alcoholic and drug addict who was wrongfully tortured by mostly White, viscious, racist cops in California. In the end, I will always recall Mr. King for HIS determination about the media circus that sprung-up around his trial and the aftermath of racial riots when the White cops were initially exonerated by the State, he said: "WHY CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?"

    We all do some right and some wrong in life; Rodney learned from his experience and is therefore an ICON in my book. Lest anyone misremember, the exonerated White racist cops were re-tried under a Federal racial hate crime statute, convicted and sent to prison. I'm truly sorry to hear Mr. King passed and was treated as a criminal, rather than a man with a deadly disease in need of medical treatment: addiction..
  • Donnie Tee Quake 2012/06/19 01:53:30
  • The Lib... Tee Quake 2012/06/19 02:09:52
    The Libertarian
    No he did not learn from his mistakes, if he learned from his mistakes, he would be alive and not at the bottom of a swimming pool.
  • Resizst... CR.Star 2012/06/19 01:20:56
    Resizstance
    +4
    Bobbing for rocks perhaps??!! LOL!

    bobbing rocks lol
  • EdWhiteSpace 2012/06/19 01:10:40
    Icon
    EdWhiteSpace
    +1
    Less Icon than symbol though, and probably not a good one. He had committed an armed robbery, was on parole, and out driving drunk. Bad enough, when police attempted to pull him over, he bolted and took police on a dangerous high speed chase at times going over 110 mph. The police, not knowing who he was or why he was running, had to assume he had done something serious and was determined to not be caught. He endangered not only his life and those of the police, but also the public.

    Upon being forced over, clearly the police are assuming he is dangerous and determined to not be taken easily. They command him to lie down - he won't. They attempt to force him to - he won't. The more men they send in, the more he fights and struggles. We can now assume he kept struggling because he was being repeatedly hit. The police, in the moment, only knew that had a large and strong man fighting with them, having already taken them on a high speed chase.

    I do not think all cops are good (or bad) and know there are prejudiced cops. But this was a bad subject and incident to try to make any case on... Had I been a cop? I probably wouldn't have used such restraint and would have shot him.
  • Christopher Kirchen 2012/06/19 01:10:25
    Agitator
    Christopher Kirchen
    +5
    Trouble is. now he'll be an icon to some. and we'll never stop hearing about him.
  • Birthpangs 2012/06/19 01:05:42
  • Calvin Harris ✌ 2012/06/19 01:03:05
    Agitator
    Calvin Harris ✌
    +1
    who???
  • courtkennedy2005 2012/06/19 01:02:16 (edited)
    Icon
    courtkennedy2005
    +1
    Although he definitely did not seek the notoriety, he was an unwilling icon. Despite the circumstances, the images of his brutal beating brought to light the reality of police brutality and the ugly face of racism which is still very prevalent in the criminal justice system as well as American society.
  • lori 2012/06/19 00:58:55
    Agitator
    lori
    +7
    He was a drunk then and he died a drunk and drug addicit. could have done better with his life. he wasted it.
  • ally 2012/06/19 00:54:36
    Icon
    ally
    +2
    He neither wanted to be an icon nor a hero. But what he did bring about how unjust the court system is to many by the jury allowing the cops to walk away scott free. RIP, Rodney. May you have found some happiness in your short life.
  • Prime T... ally 2012/06/19 01:13:46
    Prime Time Lime
    +1
    I wish others on this site had your's and my own compassion for this man.He has inner demons as we all do.Very few have stated,like both of us that he rest in peace.He was a good family man and did the best he could,and should be honoured in some way.
  • Meako 2012/06/19 00:44:43
    Icon
    Meako
    +4
    His beating showed us first hand police brutality.. Rest In Peace now Rodney....
  • RT 2012/06/19 00:36:47
  • Larry 2012/06/19 00:32:56
    Agitator
    Larry
    +3
    who cares
  • dave b 2012/06/19 00:27:49
    Agitator
    dave b
    +2
    Criminal, drunk, druggie.......all glorified by Al and Jesse because he got his useless ass beat (which was wrong) for trying to run and refusing to get down on the ground.
  • Joey 2012/06/19 00:24:05
    Icon
    Joey
    +5
    He is a an example of how America treats black people like animals.
  • dave b Joey 2012/06/19 00:28:17
    dave b
    +3
    He behaved like an animal.
  • Joey dave b 2012/06/19 00:31:44
    Joey
    +5
    He did wrong . however we do not treat people like that .
  • Larry Joey 2012/07/03 22:45:38
    Larry
    thats a L.O.S

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