June 17th, 2012
01:01 PM ET

Timeline: Rodney King from 1991 – 2012

Rodney King was thrust into the public spotlight when a camera captured him being brutally beaten by Los Angeles police in 1991. Four officers involved were acquitted, sparking infamous riots that shut down the city of Los Angeles and created a national controversy.

King was found dead in his swimming pool Sunday. Here is a look back on his life and legacy.

What happened

March 3, 1991 – Rodney King is beaten by LAPD officers after a high-speed chase through Los Angeles County. George Holliday videotapes the beating from his apartment balcony.

March 4, 1991 – Holliday delivers the tape to local television station, KTLA.

March 7, 1991 – Rodney King is released without being charged.

March 15, 1991 – Police Sgt. Stacey Koon and officers Laurence Michael Powell, Timothy Wind, and Theodore Briseno are indicted by a Los Angeles grand jury in connection with the beating.

May 10, 1991 – A grand jury refuses to indict 17 officers who stood by at the King beating and did nothing.

November 26, 1991 – Superior Court Judge Stanley Weisberg orders the trial of the four officers charged in the King beating to be moved to Simi Valley.

April 29 1992 – The four white LAPD officers are acquitted of beating King. Riots start at the intersection of Florence and Normandie in South Central Los Angeles. Reginald Denny, a white truck driver, is pulled from his truck and beaten. A news helicopter captures the beating on videotape. California Gov. Pete Wilson declares a state of emergency and calls in National Guard troops.

April 30- May 4, 1992 – Dusk to dawn curfews are enforced in the City and County of Los Angeles.

May 1, 1992 – Rodney King makes an emotional plea for calm, stating, "People, I just want to say, can we all get along? Can we get along? Can we stop making it horrible for the older people and the kids?"

August 4, 1992 – A federal grand jury returns indictments against Koon, Powell, Wind, and Briseno on the charge of violating the civil rights of Rodney King.

February 25, 1993 – The trial of the officers begins.

April 16, 1993 – The federal jury convicts Koon and Powell on one charge of violating King's civil rights. Wind and Briseno are found not guilty. No disturbances follow the verdict.

August 4, 1993 – U.S. District Judge John Davies sentences both Koon and Officer Laurence M. Powell to 30 months in prison for violating King's civil rights. Powell is found guilty of violating King's constitutional right to be free from an arrest made with "unreasonable force." Ranking officer Koon is convicted of permitting the civil rights violation to occur.

April 19, 1994 – The U.S. District Court in Los Angeles awards King $3.8 million in compensatory damages in a civil lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles. King had demanded $56 million, or $1 million for every blow struck by the officers.

June 1, 1994 – Rodney King is awarded $0 in punitive damages in a civil trial against the police officers. He had asked for $15 million.

April 2012 – Rodney King's autobiography, "The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption. Learning How We Can All Get Along," is published.

June 17, 2012 – Rodney King is found dead in his pool in Los Angeles. There are no preliminary signs of foul play, police say, and no obvious injuries on King's body. Police say they are conducting a drowning investigation.

By the numbers

- Fifty-five people died in the Los Angeles riots. 2,000 were injured.

- More than 1,00 buildings were destroyed or damaged causing an estimated loss  of $1 billion.

Photos: Rodney King and the LA Riots

- More than 3,000 disaster loan applications were filed.

- Government assistance awarded totaled $900 million.

- The Holliday video shows King being struck by police batons more than 50 times. More than 20 officers were present at the scene, most from the LAPD.

- Rodney King suffered 11 fractures and other injuries due to the beating.

- More than 9,800 National Guard troops were dispatched to restore order.

- The highest troop presence was on the night of May 3. There were 1,100 Marines, 600 Army soldiers, and 6,500 National Guard troops on patrol.

Post by: ,
Filed under: Justice • Race
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. francois2012


    June 17, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  2. stdvooh

    good riddens!

    June 17, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. glenn

    no mention about other charges against king in the timeline.
    was he charged with assault against his wife?

    June 17, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  4. bobcat (in a hat)©,

    March 3, 1991 – Rodney King is beaten by LAPD officers after a high-speed chase through Los Angeles County. George Holliday videotapes the beating from his apartment balcony.

    The day when anybody and everybody who had a camera and were at the right place at the right could make a bundle for having exclusive footage of what went down.
    Now it has progressed to a total lack of privacy for everyone.

    June 17, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat (in a hat)©,

      That actuallyshould say, The day that started the revolution for anybody and everybody etc.

      June 17, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. banasy©

    Rodney King passed away?
    The COD will be interesting to me.

    @bobcat (in a hat) ©:

    June 17, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. mickey1313

    @mmmmm, we wernt created, and humans, for the most part, are not a loving species. Greed runs human nature.

    June 17, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr Dalloway

      Choice runs human nature. The, as they say, fork in the road.

      June 18, 2012 at 2:07 am | Report abuse |
  7. chrissy

    Too bad the courts hadnt seen fit to bring charges on the 20 officers who stood by and watched, instead of stopping it. It was THEIR job and they took an oath to protect the citizens. They have joint responsibility in cause of the riots that followed!

    June 17, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • ♚Mmmmm♛

      sooo true and agree...chrissy...time to round up the mindless herd and lock 'em in the barn...

      June 17, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ♚Mmmmm♛

    @mickey123 babey i kno' better and i'm non-recruitable...bts, paganism and its fruit is in full bloom...this godless, lawlessness economy is takin' its toll on humanity...

    June 17, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Hope


    As always, I enjoy and agree with your opinion. One has to wonder how often these beatings take place but there's no video tape.

    Rest in Peace, Rodney King. Your demise taught us so much about corruption, but, most of all; it forced us to take a long, hard look at ourselves. Upon your death, we are moved to reflect, once again.


    June 17, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. chrissy

    @ mickeyl3l3, who are you talking to?

    June 17, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. chrissy

    @ mmmm...If only that could be done, im afraid there are just too damn many of them! And they dont make barns that big! Lol.

    June 17, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mike

    Goes to show how corrupt courts are in California. Even those that are supposed to protect law are lawless there.

    June 17, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. HIDE BEHIa profitableND

    Why were only the black people rioting after such a miscarriage of justice was done?
    It was just a"black thing?
    It was just a"Calfornia, a local happening, an isolated incident?
    We had to go shopping?
    Violence never solved anything unless its done in the name of nationalism and to save humanity?
    We have had multiple incidents of farworsr cases than Kings beatings but the lessons and apathy during Kings time has only increased.
    King was as much a media fed pile of BS as is the Trevor Martin incident, truth is racism is a marketable commodity, and hides behinnd many a closed mind and the eyes of they who find an opportunity toexploit it.

    June 17, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paige

      AMEN!!!! I am glad to know that I am not the only person to think this way.

      June 17, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. chrissy

    @ HIDE BEHIND, racism is a cowardly act, pretty much the same as grade school bullys, and yes im white, but i still recognize racism. Most times im in agreement with you, this time, however, is not one of those occasions!

    June 17, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. chrissy

    Those police officers used extreme excessive force, and it wouldnt matter to me what color or race their VICTIM was, they should have ALL been charged!

    June 17, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
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