Sunday, 17 June 2012
I was fifteen and a freshmen in High School, in March of 1991 when the Rodney King Police Brutality story broke. And I saw it on CNN with my family as we were eating dinner that night and saw the video of those LA Cops, beating a man lying on the ground, after they pulled him over for a Traffic Violation. It seemed like a strange story for me from the beginning, I heard about Police Brutality in the past but I don't remember ever seeing it. Even on TV, the other interesting thing about this story to me, was that even though Rodney King was pulled over for a Traffic Violation, there were like four Cops there. To just one person, King being the driver, they felt the need to pullover one man with four Cops, over a Traffic Violation. Hearing stories about Caucasian Cops beating and abusing African Americans is not new, perhaps especially in Los Angeles. But four Cops to pull over a motorist for a Traffic Violation and of course these Cops getting off, my words for this incident, as far as not having to do time for it. Even though they are caught on video, beating this man on the ground with knife sticks, pulling someone over for speeding.
From what I know about Rodney King, I'll be the first person to say the man wasn't a Saint. He had innocents with law, before and after this incident. But to his credit, in response to the LA Riots, Rodney King asked the country or at least Los Angeles, a simple very fundamental but important question, can we all get along. That this is not the way to handle in justices, that these riots are only hurting the people who live in these communities, not LAPD or the Cops that should've been punished for these crimes. This is a man who suffered a brutal beating at the expense of Law Enforcement Officers, who must of been as mad as hell about that. And yet he takes the high road and asks the question, can we all get along, not accusing all Cops of being thugs or all Caucasian Cops of being racists. Or throwing Racial Slurs at them but wanted to know if LA could move past this and move forward as a city.
Rodney King had a rough 47 years, everything from having a Drug Addiction, a Criminal Record, blowing a lot of the money he made. From the lawsuit he won against LAPD but he did seem at least at one point, be getting his life turned around and moving forward from this. I'm not shocked to hear that King has died today, even at the young age of 47 but I'm just a little disappointed by it, because he could've done a lot more with his life, then what he did.