This Day in Death

6.17.12: Rodney King – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 3:44 pm June 18, 2012

I thought it’d be a little less of a bummer if the whole incident had taken place at Disneyland. I was right, but not by enough.


Here at the TDiD, we have a little rhyme. It goes, “Your beliefs are stupid and wrong/and you should do everything in your power to never share them.” I’m sure all you Pedantic Petes out there are complaining about how that doesn’t actually rhyme, but that’s where you’re wrong: It *does* rhyme in the original Mandarin. So right there you’re proving my point. With that in mind, Rodney King was found dead in his pool in Rialto, California this weekend. Take it to the YouTube comments section if you wanna feel good about your poorly written racist rant and/or crackpot conspiracy theory.

In 1991, King was pulled over by the LAPD and severely beaten. The incident was secretly recorded from a distance, and when the footage entered the public consciousness it set off a firestorm of debate about racism and police brutality. When three of the four officers involved were acquitted of any wrongdoing, it sparked the 1992 Los Angeles Riots. If that all seems like a pretty complex situation with a lot of important issues to consider before coming to a conclusion about what really happened and who was truly at fault, you can just do what I did and form your opinion by watching season four of In Living Color instead. Without the King incident it basically would’ve been 22 minutes of Fire Marshal Bill every week. The Fly Girls had never been so socially relevant. Or fly.

Says the NY Times:

There was no evidence of foul play, the Rialto police said.

Mr. King, whose life was a roller coaster of drug and alcohol abuse, multiple arrests and unwanted celebrity, pleaded for calm during the 1992 riots. More than 55 people were killed and 600 buildings destroyed in the violence.

In a phrase that became part of American culture, he asked at a news conference, “Can we all get along?”

He then added, “Except for, you know, that dude I hit with a pole and then robbed. I’m cool with not getting along with that guy.”

One thing we can all agree on is that the incident was a huge blow to the public perception of law enforcement as a benevolent force that exists to serve and protect. It was only through the combined efforts of the release of Paul Blart: Mall Cop and this picture of a dog wearing a policeman’s uniform that we were finally able to begin healing our national wounds. Godspeed, Commissioner Sniffles! Our collective innocent rests in your adorable little paws!

Source: The New York Times

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