June 17, 2012

Rodney King, RIP

Rodney King, age 47, was found dead at the bottom of his swimming pool.

King wasn't the best swimmer, but he was a tough guy. He could take a licking and keep on ticking. If you had just led two dozen policemen on a 100mph chase, and now the adrenaline-crazed cops were all over you, you'd probably stop fighting back and give in after the eighth or twelfth baton blow. Not Rodney King.

One fact that isn't part of the standard narrative is that the cops who whomped on him had to be tried twice (the concept of double jeopardy not applying in this case), and the second jury only unanimously agreed that a single one of the scores of blows landed on King was unjustified beyond a reasonable doubt. From the L.A. Times on 4/23/1993:
Jurors also played and replayed the best evidence in the case--the videotape of the beating that had been taken by an amateur and enhanced by the FBI. 
"We went through it frame by frame, slow-motion, fast-motion, God I don't know how many times we watched that thing," Juror No. 9 said. 
The tape, made by a bystander, could not answer all their questions. It was blurry at one crucial moment after King was struck and fell to the ground. Some jurors said they could see Powell using his baton to bash the fallen King in the head. But others had difficulty seeing head blows, even when the tape was viewed frame by frame. 
All could see a powerful blow that Powell later landed across King's chest. King was on the ground at the time, on his back. 
"That chest blow was unreasonable and we felt it was not to effect an arrest but just to hurt the guy," No. 9 said. "That convinced about a third of us."

King was a battler.


kudzu bob said...

Man, there are so many tasteless jokes I could make I don't even know where to begin.

Instead, I'll just quote the beginning of Sunset Boulevard:

"The poor dope-he always wanted a pool. Well, in the end, he got himself a pool."

Anonymous said...

rip for rest in pool.

Anonymous said...

The impression I had after "the dust had cleared" was that frame by frame analysis of the video tape showed the cops initially had a lot of restraint but that King, apparently chock full of drugs?, did not heed instructions. The cops, failing to sense they had attained control, just "opened up" with batons. The MSM account is Orwellian.

jody said...

can we all just...learn to swim?

Norville Rogers said...

He was certainly no Emersonian punk, I'll give him that

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Rodney King: In my first or second week of law school, one of my professors showed a hall of about 150 students a video from the first Rodney King trial. IIRC, the video was of the lead defense attorney's summing up, where he went through the video of the beating slowly and explained what the cops were doing according to the testimony.

After the video, the prof asked the class if any of us found the defense argument persuasive. Nobody raised a hand. "Just a little persuasive?" No hands. "Has it made you even a little more likely to agree that the defendants were justified?" In my mind, I was saying, "Yeah." But there was no freaking way I was going to raise my hand and spend the next three years being known to half my classmates as "the racist" and the other half as "the dumbass who didn't know enough to keep his mouth shut."

- A Solid Citizen

Anonymous said...

If I'd had Rodney King's body I'd be worth a billion dollars.

Anonymous said...

Remember why blacks have so significantly shorter life span? - Institutional racism, that's why.

Anonymous said...

re: "Anonymous said...
If I'd had Rodney King's body I'd be worth a billion dollars."

If you get his body, you get his "brain" as part of the package deal. No?

Dan Kurt

Anonymous said...

King was on Dr. Drew's reality show "Celebrity Rehab", which should actually have been called "Celebrity Relapse", since that's what everyone on the show seems to do after appearing on it. Jeff Conaway is also dead, drug-related. Mary Carey went back to porn. Andy Dick is still a drunk about town... Entertaining show though, the only reality TV I've ever been able to watch.

Anonymous said...

I remember when he got shot while riding is bicycle on New Year's Eve in San Bernardino. I was working a few blocks away.

Anonymous said...

No, the beatings were not justified. Understandable? Maybe, but we should expect more from our law enforcement officers. We should expect more professionalism. No 'adrenaline-craze' excuses allowed.

Anonymous said...

A suicide? Drug induced 'accidental' death?

If only this had happened 20 years earlier. L.A. would have been spared that terrible riot. A billion bucks would have been saved. Koreatown wouldn't have been ravaged. 54 people wouldn't have died. Denny wouldn't have had his skull caved in. On and on it goes. What a worthless man King really was. He had a long criminal record even before this ever happened and even after winning millions in the 'ghetto lottery' he blew it all away. His passing is no loss.

Van Riel said...

Oh, sure, King drives around 100mph through residential areas, then gets out, high on drugs, and despite repeated warnings from the officers, tasing, etc, assaults the officers. Nothing wrong on his end. It is the officers, who in defense of the public and themselves, MIGHT have accidentally landed 1 blow (out of a series of blows) that was not due, to make sure he won't keep on assaulting them, who deserve prison and having their lives ruined. Meanwhile King goes on to be handed millions for his "injustice".

The character of who they were dealing with (and who was likely right and wrong) has been on display ever since, with King blowing the millions frivolously, and getting into trouble repeatedly.

Anonymous said...


"If I'd had Rodney King's body I'd be worth a billion dollars."

What would you do, cut it up and sell it in little pieces?

Henry Canaday said...

King was a sweetheart and a creampuff compared with New York’s ‘Loco Larry’ Davis.

In 1986 NYPD sent about a dozen and half officers to arrest Larry, suspected of murdering 20 or so New York citizens of all persuasions, some fellow thugs, others quite innocent. The bust team lined up on the stairwell to the walk-up apartment where Larry’s girl friend lived. Larry was inside, frying himself up a hearty breakfast of dog-and-eggs. His girlfriend had run out of sausage and Larry liked meat with his sunny-sides, so he had chopped up her pet.

Larry heard the knock on the door and came out shooting. By the time he reached the bottom of the stairwell and the exit door, six cops had been shot and the rest were in sprawled in disarray. Nobody died, except the dog.

There were no riots when Larry turned himself in 17 days later. Even Harlem was glad Larry would no longer be doing his own cooking.

Darrell said...

"Anonymous said...

If I'd had Rodney King's body I'd be worth a billion dollars."

- No, you'd be worth about $4.98 in mulch at this point...

Anonymous said...

How about a Rodney King memorial in DC. Build a 40 ft R. King and plunk it into the pool.

fwood1 said...

I'm curious. Whatever happened to the two cops who were convicted? I hope they were able to get their lives back on track after being sacrificed by the system. George Zimmerman, take care.

Anonymous said...

Here is the Australian Broadcasting Corporation getting about as detailed as it deems necessary:

"As Los Angeles was ripped apart by crowds who looted businesses, torched buildings and attacked one another, King made a personal plea for peace.

"People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along?" "

What a stand up guy.

But who were those crowds? Did they just attack one another, or did they grab 'civilians' out of cars and murder them? Who were the civilians?

So many questions. Australians born after 1990 will expect to see Rodney King Boulevards everywhere.


Anonymous said...

The stark fact is that MSM treatment of the King "beating" was a cookie cut propaganda job.
That the cops should not have "lost it" is correct, but cops defied tend to get very antsy as failure to gain control of such a situation is the gateway to creating police widows and police orphans. Full factual accuracy was the first victim in it all.

AMac said...

NPR had the mainstream narrative of St. Rodney of King on their evening news today. The man was a saint! Even Jesse Jackson agreed to that, so it's sure to be true. Rodney and Jesse, riding with the good guys, fighting the good fight against brutality, oppression, and Zimmerman. Brought tears to my eyes.

Anonymous said...

"He was certainly no Emersonian punk, I'll give him that"

What's the hell is an Emersonian Punk?

Svigor said...

What would you do, cut it up and sell it in little pieces?

There's a lot of latinum in vacuum-dessicated remains...

TGGP said...

Rodney King beating on youtube.

Anonymous said...

Reply to a solid citizen at 4:46 pm:

(Keeping your mouth shut in class about Rodney King).

Your post struck a chord with me for a little bit of a different reason. I am a Canadian. In 1976 the largely French speaking province of Quebec elected a separatist provincial government. Probably no big deal at all to Americans then or now, but it was a very big deal in Canada at the time. As it happened, I was a student at the time and one of my teachers asked my class if anyone wanted Quebec to separate. I was the only one to put up my hand. I thought (then and now) that Canada would be a lot better off without Quebec and I would be given a chance to make my case. The teacher simply accused me of being a bigot and "hating" French people. The label stuck and made my next year unbearable. I finally ended up changing schools to get some relief. Looking back, I was amazed at how naive I was for walking into this "ambush". My only solace is that 35+ years later, far more Canadians now share my sentiments then did at the time.

eah said...

Question: What would a country full of Rodney Kings be like?

Just another useless black man, who most certainly cost society far more than he ever contributed, e.g. economically. Suggested epitaph: 'He wasn't a hardened, violent criminal'. That's the best you can say about him.

Whiskey said...

I find his death sad and predictable, he was a big guy too heavy. Quite likely a heart attack. I'm sorry for the people who loved him, a minor criminal by all accounts he never reached awful amounts of hurt (though I'm sure his family was hurt by his petty criminal ways and domestic violence). But it is sad, death always is, and my prayers are for his family. I don't blame him for the riots, that was the KTLA producer that edited the tape to prevent anyone seeing the fighting with cops, and deeply dysfunctional Black community that thought anger justified murder, arson and beating in the skull of some random White guy who had nothing to do with anything.

What is illustrative is that King is not very unusual, at least one White guy I can think of who got worse (the late Kelly Thomas in Fullerton), and petty Black criminality is the bane of Black people at large.

At any rate, I'm sorry he's dead and feel sorry for the family and those who loved him.

International Jew said...

Nice article, iSteve, but something tells me you've blown your chance to have the King family invite you to deliver the eulogy.

Lugash said...

I am Lugash.

About the best end that RK and his fellow travelers could hope for.

Over the years I've probably used the full beating video a dozen times to show people how the MSM twist a story to fit The Narrative.

I am Lugash.

Truth said...

"If I'd had Rodney King's body I'd be worth a billion dollars."

Nah, you'd be the same schlub you are now.

NOTA said...

Rodney King demonstrates one really weird thing I've noticed a lof,which has never made any sense to me: The way popular narratives turn victims of bad things or people into heroes. King was a small-time criminal and in general a net loss for mankind as a person, who one evening was caught on videotape having the mortal shit beat out of him by the cops. The cops ought not to have done that, and the beating should have ended the law enforcement career of the cops involved in the beating. But none of that makes King any more admirable a person.

This pattern shows up all the time. It's like somehow everyone thinks unless they talk up the heroism and goodness of the victim of some nasty crime, they are somehow siding with the criminals. But reality just isn't put together that way. You can be the victim of a crime even if you are a thoroughly despicable person.

Drunk Idiot said...

If memory serves, didn't President George "41" Bush promise a retrial, and more or less stump for the LAPD officers to be convicted, in the wake of the riots?

Again, if memory serves, following the riots, Maxine Waters called Bush a racist and blamed the LAPD officers' acquittal on the rising tide of racism that was afoot in George Bush's AmeriKKKa.

So with a sluggish economy already pulling him down, Bush fell into an all-out panic over a potential election year racial disaster, and took the extra measure of publicly demanding justice for Rodney King (not unlike Justice For Trayyvonn).

Then-Democratic nominee Bill Clinton had something to do with that too. Clinton had spent the summer deftly exploiting every bit of bad news -- not the least of which were the Rodney King riots -- to his political gain.

Clinton played a mild recession and slow recovery as the "worst economy since the Great Depression" and complained that Bush played golf while the nation was in the unemployment line. He showed up hours after Hurricane Andrew had subsided, hugged victims who'd incurred sizable damage, professed to feel their pain, and complained that Bush was too busy playing golf to marshal hurricane relief. And as parts of South Central Los Angeles burned, he portrayed himself as a racial healer who would right historic wrongs and engage the nation in a much-overdue "conversation about race."

Bill Clinton was the Man From Hope, and his campaign theme was "It's Time For Change." It's been largely forgotten, but racial healing was a component (although it was often only implied) of candidate Clinton's promise of Hope and Change. That's why his much-hailed "Sista Soulja moment" was so important -- it was supposed to show that, although he was portraying himself as a Civil Rights candidate, he also wasn't afraid to be critical of black misbehavior when necessary.

And the media were orgasmic over his act.

So, again, if memory serves, following the LAPD officers' acquittal and the subsequent riots, Bush panicked and called for the officers' heads.

But yours truly was in high school at the time. I spent evenings playing basketball until the lights went out at the outdoor courts and then drinking/going to parties/raising Hell with friends afterward. I was a lot more informed than most teens, but still, the ins and outs of current events weren't necessarily front and center in my mind way back then.

Anonymous said...

A worhless end to a worthless life.

Anonymous said...

Christ, this is the first time I read a Whiskey post and wholeheartedly agreed!

Rain And said...

Without Mr. King we wouldn't have the epic American History X dinner scene.

Anonymous said...

I remember when this happened I recorded it and played it back frame by frame.

Rodney King Beating Video

They're using a sweeping motion, so the tip of the baton glances off. It doesn't come to a stop and deliver it's energy. In the first part they're hitting the shoulder to stun it (like a funny bone). Then they hit the back of the knee so he wont be able to stand.

He's clearly not being hurt. A "brutal beating" it is not.

There is a rap video that re-enacts the scene, but in it the blows aren't glancing, they 'connect' and come to a stop.

BrokenSymmetry said...

Whiskey, you're a mensch!

Smart American said...


Originally Posted by Enosh:
I am sorry, but in the limited time in a school year, i really don't see why this would be worth discussing in a history class

The LA Riots were a pivotal point in American history. The impact it had on Goverment, Law Enforcement and culture were very dramatic.

In a sense it was something that needed to happen, even though it was an awful low point in our city's history, it's no less important than the Civil rights marches of the 60's, The JFK assassination, or 9/11. Without the Riots, I dont know if Los Angeles would have gotten any better, compared to back then It's a very dramatic difference in what it was, I remember the gangs not even a decade ago leaving bodies in the gutters drive by shootings at the high schools and one of my teachers getting killed for giving a gang member detention one day.

Nowadays it seems like the criminal mentality is slowly dying off, The gangs are almost non-existent here now it's amazing, The economy is in the shits around here and it seems like instead of people turning to criminal activity, more people are attending school, more community programs are gaining more members, volunteers are coming out of the woodwork to make the city a more attractive place for themselves and for business.

Camlost said...

PCP is a helluva drug.

Norville Rogers said...

I haven't seen any recent testimonials for Rod's co-producer

btw that's a heavily Hispanic section of the NE valley now

Anonymous said...

Check out The Education of Dasimine Cathey


On paper, three classes are all he has left. But for a guy who could barely read three years ago, every class is a mountain.

But off the field that year, his life was starting to unravel. Within weeks, he found out he was going to be a father—not once, but twice, with two different women.

'Holy crud, I can't believe how many kids are reading below a seventh-grade level.'"

"I just wish Dasmine cared more. You can't make someone care."

He was evicted from that home after his roommate—a cousin who is his best friend—was arrested for armed robbery. Although Mr. Cathey himself has largely stayed out of trouble—he's been in some bar fights, and has a pile of unpaid parking tickets—he hangs out with a dangerous crowd. Several of his closest friends are in gangs, and almost all have spent time behind bars.

peterike said...

Me, I've always considered George Holliday, who filmed the King whuppin', to be a dirty race traitor.

Had he not made the tape available to the television station, there is no "Rodney King." I know nothing about Holliday, but I hope he's happy that he played a role in 53 deaths and putting LAPD officers through an endless hell.

Had I filmed the event, that tape would have been deleted immediately, because I know exactly how it would be used. Namely, as a propaganda weapon against my race.

Thanks George Holliday.

Anonymous said...

The MSM always called him MOTORIST Rodney King.

Truth said...

"At any rate, I'm sorry he's dead and feel sorry for the family and those who loved him."

Why Whiskey, that's really considerate of you.

Anonymous said...

Re anonymous at 9:18 (being ambushed in class)

Sorry that happened to you. The Left has been very effective at informally criminalizing certain viewpoints.

- A Solid Citizen

Truth said...

Nowadays it seems like the criminal mentality is slowly dying off, The gangs are almost non-existent here now it's amazing, The economy is in the shits around here and it seems like instead of people turning to criminal activity, more people are attending school, more community programs are gaining more members, volunteers are coming out of the woodwork to make the city a more attractive place for themselves and for business."

Is this actually a positive post on this site?

I remember the last one; 6/28/09. I made it.

pat said...

I had said for years that the real story was one of media bias. Now I'm not so sure.

I had read Lou Cannon's biography of Reagan and then his account of Reagan as governor. I liked them so I decided to read his account of the Rodney King riots. Cannon is a very good reporter - very through. His King riots book is more than 800 pages.

In his account everyone in America had seen the twenty second video of the cops beating up King. But what no one knew at the time was that the full video was ten minutes long. According to Cannon when the jurers saw the whole thing they were shocked and outraged. The full video, he writes, tells a different story. It shows that King attacked the cops. It shows that King attempted the so called "Folsom Roll" a technique by which the man on the ground attacks a standing cop. It showed that King shook off repeated tazer strikes and behaved in a very aggressive and dangerous manner.

According to Cannon the jurors conclude that they had been lied to. They felt that they had been manipulated by the news media though deceptive editing.

Cannon's theory was that it was something like inducing a foul in the NBA. You foul someone out of sight of the referee and then when he retaliates it is seen by the referee. The jurors when they saw the full clip saw the full context and blamed the media. The jurors reacted to what they thought was an attempt to fool them by acquiting everyone.

I wrote this story in an email to a friend yesterday and he suggested that the full video must be on YouTube now. It is.

I reviewed the video and I am not so sure about Cannon's account. First of all the opening minutes are really bad technically. The camera jumps around. The networks claimed that they cut out those minutes because they were so poorly filmed. The conspiratorially minded think the networks didn't want to show anything that would tend to exonerate the cops.

Certainly we have seen in the Trayvon Martin case that the networks will edit content to make an ideological point. But in the Rodney King case the first minutes are so chaotically filmed that they couldn't be shown on the air.

More seriously, I don't see King actually attacking the cops. I see him absorbing an unbelieveable amount of punishment.

Cannon also claimed that King's size, muscularity and imperviousness to pain scared the cops. That I can believe. Sonny Liston also scared the cops when they arrested him. King was even bigger than Liston.

The last part of the video is also interesting. After King has been subdued and everything is quieting down, one cop leads one of the other guys who had been in King's car across the street to his patrol car. It is a very calm and proper arrest. The cop is gentle with him and has him ride in the front. The contrast with the events that just transpired could not be greater.

Go look for yourself. Now that everyone on the street carries a movie camera in their cell phone we all need to get in practice at reviewing crime footage.


Anonymous said...

Study: Black Students Don't Achieve More With Black Teachers
By Francesca Duffy on June 15, 2012 4:33 PM

The University of Houston has brought attention to a study that found there is no significant relationship between the academic achievement of African-American students and the percentage of African-American teachers in a particular school. The study's author, Walter Hunt, a recent graduate of the University's Executive Education Doctorate in Professional Leadership program and an assistant principal in Houston, explained that he wanted to take a good look at the preconceived notion that the staff make-up of a school "should resemble the student body population," since this often directs "recruitment and hiring efforts among principals."

Anonymous said...

pat said...
I wrote this story in an email to a friend yesterday and he suggested that the full video must be on YouTube now. It is.

This might be it. It has some extra seconds at the beginning compared to the 'regular' version.
Rodney King Beating (Full Version)

opening minutes are really bad technically

It's in focus enough to see for the first 4 seconds then gets blurry.
Even when it's blurry you can mentally draw 'stick figures' and tell where limbs are moving.

King is on the ground, quickly stands up and runs.
It gets very blurry at this point.
His running path takes him near a policeman, who knocks him down.

If he wanted to run away, he had a clear path because the police didn't sorround him on completely.

Instead he runs right into two policemen who knock him down.

Anonymous said...

peter ike said..:

I agree completely with your comments about George Holliday. I would have also deleted the tape. He was a betrayer of his race. He should have realized that the media would use and manipulate his footage to advance their own anti-white agenda. Or maybe he did realize but didn't care? He seems to have been motivated only by financial gain, of which he actually received very, very little. I guess Rodney King never felt the need to share any of his 3.8 million with the man who made it all possible for him. Without Holliday's actions, no L.A. riot, no 53 dead, 2,000 wounded, and no 1 billion in damages.

I hope it was worth it to him....

Anonymous said...

Albertosaurus: “Go look for yourself. Now that everyone on the street carries a movie camera in their cell phone we all need to get in practice at reviewing crime footage.“

The problem is that most people do not have the background to really understand what they are viewing most of the time.

Anonymous said...

Just getting all the relevant facts is so basic. King was one of three persons detained. The other two complied with reasonable police instructions and were booked, etc., routinely. King did not. It is King's refusals and "out of it" conduct that escalated the matter. The whole matter from the outset was "cookie cut" and "seasoned" by the MSM and
"the rest of the story" IS the story but is not widely known. Winston Smith's America?

Anonymous said...

I had always been afraid King would meet his end by getting drunk and speeding along a well-traveled highway. He would then crash head on into a car carrying an innocent family who would all be killed along with King.

As it turned out, King died without taking anyone with him. You could say this was out of character.

NAM/AM spectator said...

Coincidentally it was 30 years ago that saw a beating also resulting in a state/federal "double jeopardy" case as you call it: the Chinese guy in Highland Park, Mich. killed by Chrysler workers (who drew a famously lenient judge in the first round and got probation). The big contrast being, self-identified Asians did not then proceed to torch Detroit.

Anonymous said...

>The MSM always called him MOTORIST Rodney King.<

Yup. Not "armed robber" or "drunk driver."

No - he was merely a "motorist," as if he were sporting a Gatsby getup of beret and goggles and fine leather gloves, and driving a rebuilt Model T to the neighborhood Motoring Club. Tally-ho and Grey Poupon and all that.

"Motorist," my a--.

NOTA said...


It's idiotic to hold Halliday responsible for rioting done by other people. He recorded something interesting and newsworthy, and saw that it got onto the news. The news reported it. If they hadn't, they wiuld have been suppressing news to further their political/social agenda--something we need less of, not more.

If the LAPD don't want videos of them beating the hell out of people put on TV, they should try to avoid beating the hell out of people, even really shitty people who've just led them on a high speed chase.

Anonymous said...

Reply to NOTA:

You just don't get it. The problem was not that the media "reported" the event, but that they deliberately MISREPRESENTED what happened and did so because of their AGENDA. Holliday should have realized this and what would happen. He should have thought about what was in the best public interest. Would his actions serve any public good? Instead he just wanted to make a fast buck for himself. It was all about him.