Where Were You When: The Rodney King Beating
This date marks the 20th anniversary of the Rodney King beating. On March 3, 1991, a 34-year-old black man named Rodney King was stopped and beaten by white police officers in Los Angeles, California. According to the officers, King emerged from his automobile in an aggressive manner that suggested he might have been high on drugs. Before handcuffing King, the police delivered some 56 blows, kicks, and a number of shocks from a stun gun to the fallen body of King. A bystander captured the beating on videotape, and within two days the footage was being broadcast on national television. King brought charges of brutality against four of the policemen. The officers, who claimed they acted in self-defense, were tried before a predominantly white jury in a white middle-class suburb of Los Angeles. On April 29, 1992, all four men were acquitted.