With the approaching twentieth anniversary of the LA Riots – which started April 29, 1992 – the LA Times got together with Rodney King to find out where his head is 20 years later.
If you recall, it all started after a jury acquitted four police officers in the vicious beating of King a year earlier. The acquittals unleashed an onslaught of pent-up anger.
There were 54 riot-related deaths and nearly $1 billion in property damage . It was not a good time for Los Angeles, the USA and Rodney King.
King remembers. He rubs his right cheek, numb since the beating, and describes what it was like to be struck by batons, stung by Tasers.
“It felt,” he says, “like I was an inch from death.”
Later he confides that he is at peace with what happened to him.
“I would change a few things, but not that much,” he says. “Yes, I would go through that night, yes I would. I said once that I wouldn’t, but that’s not true. It changed things. It made the world a better place.”
He is 47 now — jobless and virtually broke. Gone is the settlement money he got after suing the city for violating his civil rights. All $3.8 million of it. Huge chunks went to the lawyers, he says, some to family members, some he simply wasted.
The settlement did provide a down payment on the inconspicuous rambler that is his home in Rialto. He says he cobbles together mortgage payments. Every so often he gets hired to pour concrete at a construction site. He has earned small paydays fighting in celebrity boxing matches. He received an advance — less than six figures, he says, but significant nonetheless — for allowing his story to be told in a book set to go on sale Tuesday: “The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption.”
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article courtesy of Eurweb.com
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