03.03.

1991: Police Violence in Los Angeles Captured on Video

1991: Police Violence in Los Angeles Captured on Video

The officers struck African-American Rodney King 56 times with their batons and six times with their feet. All this was recorded by a citizen from a nearby apartment.

On this day one casual observer in Los Angeles managed to record with a video camera a case of serious police violence against African-American Rodney King, who was stopped for a traffic violation and resisting arrest. Rodney King was on probation because of a previous robbery.

That day, he was returning home by car under the influence of alcohol. The police started to follow him, but he did not want to stop because he knew that if he’s caught driving drunk, he would break his parole. Therefore, he increased his speed, and more police cars and a helicopter began to follow him. Finally he stopped, but refused to get out of the car. When he finally came out, he resisted arrest. Officers hit him with a Taser, which threw him on the ground. However, he tried to get up and they started beating him with batons. In total, the officers struck African-American Rodney King as much as 56 times with their batons and six times with their feet.

All this was recorded by a citizen from a nearby apartment. He sent the footage to the police, but was rejected. So he gave the videotape to the KTLA television station, which broadcast it. The footage quickly became a sensation and was broadcast many times all over the world. The officers were initially not convicted in court, but two were later given 30-month prison sentences by the federal court. The victim received 3.8 million dollars in damages.

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