The past still grips Rodney King: The beating victim says he’s at peace with all that’s happened to him and that he’d go through the night of March 3, 1991, again. Now out of work and nearly poor, he wears the physical and emotional scars of his ordeal.
As to why he wouldn’t change what happened that night, he has a theory. True, the beating and the first trial led to deadly violence. It fills him with guilt. How can he not feel responsible for what some still call “the Rodney King riots”? Yet good came of it. The convictions of Koon and Powell, he says, the moral weight that pushed his call to “get along” deep into the public consciousness — these things helped change the world.
Photo: Rodney G. King at his home in Rialto. King, whose beating by police was caught on videotape and then sparked the L.A. riots when the accused officers were acquitted, has a book coming out, timed with the 20th anniversary of those riots. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times