The Beating of Rodney King

2275 words 10 pages
The Beating of Rodney King

The Beating of Rodney King Throughout police history in the United States and around the world there have been numerous incidents of reported police brutality and other forms of corruption including taking bribes, theft, sexual deviance, and many more. In our present time corruption has decreased significantly from what it once was decades ago but still exists. One of the most publicized cases of police brutality, if not the most, was the beating of Rodney King. Most people have heard about the case and seen the video of the brutal beating that took place in Los Angeles on the night of March 2, 1991. The video shown to the public contained officers appearing to beat Mr. King while he is on the ground while
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” –Adolph Eichmann, 1961
After the incident Mr. King was released without charges and on March 7, Chief Gates of the Los Angeles Police Department announced that four officers would be prosecuted including Powell, Briseno, Wind, and Sergeant Koon. George Holliday, the citizen with the recorded video originally tried to give it to the police station but was turned away. He then decided to turn it over to a Los Angeles television station by the name of KTLA. It was immediately played on the evening news and was picked up by CNN the very next day. The video was played constantly in the weeks to come and according to CNN vice president Ed Turner “television used the tape like wallpaper”. As more citizens viewed the video outrage began to spread all around the country. According to the public “92% of those polled believed that excessive force was used against Rodney King” The event had turned into a media field day in which most people wanted to see justice served and nothing less. When trial proceedings went under way it became apparent that jury selection for a case like this would be crucial. Attorneys for the four officers argued to the judge that the media had spun the case out of control and a change of venue was needed to avoid a biased jury. To the prosecutions disgust the request was granted as the trial was to move Simi Valley, a predominantly white city set in the hills of Ventura County. Chief Deputy of the special Investigations


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