On This Day

Rodney King

Victim of Police Violence Rodney King

Profession: Victim of Police Violence

United States of America

Why Famous: Rodney King, an African American construction worker was on parole for robbery when after a car chase in Los Angeles he was stopped and beaten by LA police officers in 1991. The beating was filmed and shown around the world.

Four of the police officers were acquitted of assault in a Los Angeles court, sparking the 1992 LA riots in which 53 people were killed. Two of these officers were subsequently convicted of violating King's civil rights.

King was later awarded US$3.8 million compensation in a federal civil rights case but for the rest of his life struggled to come to terms with the events and his personal addictions, accidentally drowning in 2012.

Born: April 2, 1965
Birthplace: Sacramento, California, USA

Generation: Generation X
Chinese Zodiac: Snake
Star Sign: Aries

Died: June 17, 2012 (aged 47)
Cause of Death: Accidental drowning

Married Life

  • 1985-04-27 Police violence victim Rodney King (20) weds Dennetta Lyles
  • 1989-02-20 Police violence victim Rodney King (23) weds Crystal Lynnette Waters

Events in the Life of Rodney King

  • 1991-03-03 Los Angeles police officers severely beat motorist Rodney King, the beating is famously captured on amateur video and later leads to riots when the police officers are acquitted
  • 1991-03-15 4 LA police are charged with beating Rodney King
  • 1992-02-05 Jury selection begins in the LA police beating Rodney King case
  • 1992-04-29 Jury acquits LA police officers of beating Rodney King, riots begin
  • 1992-05-01 Los Angeles Dodgers postpone 3 MLB games due to racial riots over the infamous Rodney King beating
  • 1992-08-05 4 cops in Rodney King beating case indicted on civil rights charge
  • 1993-02-03 Federal trial of 4 police officers charged with civil rights violations in videotaped beating of Rodney King begins in Los Aangeles, California
  • 1993-03-09 Rodney King in Simi Valley court says he thinks he heard cops yell racial slurs
  • 1993-04-16 Jury reaches guilty verdict in Federal case against police officer who beat Rodney King, but the verdict is not read until April 17th
  • 1993-04-17 Two Los Angeles police officers convicted in federal court of violating Rodney King's civil rights
  • 1994-04-19 Rodney King awarded $3,800,000 compensation for his police beating

Famous Accidental Drownings