Rodney King dies at age 47
LOS ANGELES – His beating stunned the nation, left Los Angeles smoldering and helped reshape race relations and police tactics. And in a quavering voice on national television, Rodney King pleaded for peace while the city burned.
But peace never quite came for King – not after the fires died down, after two of the officers who broke his skull multiple times were punished, after Los Angeles and its flawed police department moved forward. His life, which ended Sunday at age 47 after he was pulled from the bottom of his swimming pool, was a continual struggle even as the city he helped change moved on.
The images – preserved on an infamous grainy video – of the black driver curled up on the ground while four white officers clubbed him over 50 times with batons – became a national symbol of police brutality in 1991. More than a year later, when the officers’ acquittals touched off one of the most destructive race riots in history, his scarred face and softspoken question – “Can we all get along?” – spurred the nation to confront its difficult racial history.
If you have any technical difficulties, either with your username and password or with the payment options, please contact us by e-mail at email@example.com