In 1991, a random witness videotaped four white police officers from the Los Angeles Police Department violently beating a man named Rodney King with batons, while several other officers stood and watched.
The four officers were charged with Assault. A judge granted the defendant’s motion for a change of venue (something that almost never happens) and the case was moved to predominately white Simi Valley in Ventura County, California.
I will never forget hearing the news that they were acquitted.
Like so many, I couldn’t believe it.
The verdict caused one of the worst riots in our country’s history. 53 people died; over 1000 buildings were destroyed by fire and more than 2000 people were injured.
I was there. Until it became too dangerous to stay.
Of course not all cops are like this. Of course most cops are good people doing the right thing.
So what, when plenty of others are killing innocent young black men.
What do we say to our children?