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Politics Last Updated: Mar 3rd, 2011 - 15:12:44

Rodney King Beating Anniversary Reminds Us of Racial Tensions
David Hope
Mar 3, 2011, 15:12

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Rodney King has become a fixture in the modern racial history of the Untied States of America, despite never intending to be one. Today, the world looks back at the horrible events on the twenty year anniversary of King�s beating at the hands of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Rodney King�s beating, which was recorded live and later leaked to television stations by an amateur photographer, led to a legal case that later ignited racial tension in the city of Los Angeles, and later, sparked some of the most violent protests ever seen in America.

Photographer George Holliday recorded the Los Angeles Police Department�s beating of Rodney King twenty years ago today. Using a Sony Handycam from his apartment, Holliday later sold access to the recording to television station KTLA for just $500.

Immediately after KTLA acquired the tape, the nation was tuning in.

The story behind the video was that Rodney King was on parole and had been pulled over for suspicious driving and then leading police on a short pursuit. Once stopped, four white police officers removed King from his vehicle and struck him more than fifty times.

Immediately after the beating, King spoke to KTLA:

"I thought they were gonna kill me, that's what I thought," King said. "After they tied me up like that...I thought I was gonna die."

Recalling the events, KTLA today recalled the aftermath on their website, saying, �The officers involved would later be charged in the beating, but no one was prepared what was to come a year later when the officers faced a jury and were found not guilty of assault.�

After the verdicts were read on live television and radio, the city of Los Angeles erupted in violent protests. Once things finally settled down, more than $1 billion in damages were recorded � and 53 people had lost their lives.

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