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NEWS
By Gregory P. Kane | August 23, 1993
IS Rodney King anything more than the drunken fool who led L.A. police on a high-speed chase, got brutally bludgeoned for his law-breaking and precipitated the trial that precipitated the verdict that precipitated the worst rioting of this century?NAACP executive secretary Benjamin Chavis seems to think so. To him Mr. King is a "symbol of fighting injustice," a man who has "emerge[d] out of the community to exemplify freedom-seeking, justice-seeking behavior."When I first read those quotes, I figured Ben Chavis had imbibed too much of whatever Rodney King had been drinking the night he played a hard-luck Roadrunner to the Los Angeles Police Department's nightstick-happy Wile E. Coyotes.
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NEWS
By Will Beall | May 2, 2007
I was in my dorm room at San Diego State University, listening to the Led Zeppelin cover of "When the Levee Breaks," when I first saw George Holliday's amateur video of the Rodney King incident on CNN. It looked like those grainy films of Selma, Ala., in 1965, and the brutality turned my stomach. They didn't really talk about Rodney King when I went through the Los Angeles Police Academy a few years later.
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NEWS
By James Bock and James Bock,Staff Writer | August 18, 1993
Rodney G. King has joined the NAACP and will "work in Los Angeles in the 'hood with us," the Rev. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. told a group of Baltimore ministers yesterday.Dr. Chavis, who convened the ministers to promote an NAACP-sponsored 30th anniversary March on Washington, called Mr. King a "worldwide symbol of why we need to march."Mr. King, who is black, was the victim of an infamous beating in 1991 by white Los Angeles police officers.The executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said he met Mr. King, a former convict who led Los Angeles police on a chase before the beating, at a dinner in New York on Saturday and asked him to join the nation's oldest civil rights group.
NEWS
By Gregory Kane | January 8, 2005
YOU HAVE TO hand it to that Jesse Jackson: A dull guy, he ain't. Jackson was this year's keynote speaker at Johns Hopkins' 23rd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration yesterday. For most of his one-hour speech, he was the perfect man for the job. He preached. He taught. He scolded -- mostly conservatives, Republicans and the Bush administration. He cautioned his listeners not to focus so much on King's dream but on "the broken promise of the U.S. government that inspired the dream and made it necessary."
NEWS
By WILEY A. HALL | August 19, 1993
Don't blame Ben Chavis and the NAACP for turning Rodney King into a symbol -- Mr. King has been a symbol for some time now. The question is, what exactly does he symbolize?Rodney King, of course, is the black motorist whose videotaped beating at the hands of four white Los Angeles police officers in 1991 made him perhaps the world's best-known victim of police brutality.The officers were acquitted of state criminal assault charges in April 1992, sparking one of the country's worst riots in decades.
NEWS
By Mona Charen | February 16, 1993
THE second "Rodney King" trial is underway. As someone who, at the time the videotape became public, wrote, "This evidence of home-grown viciousness stands as a rebuke to the nation," I have now had second thoughts.It seems to me entirely possible that this jury may come to the identical conclusion the first jury reached -- acquittal. Moreover, it seems to me that honorable, conscientious, non-racist people could reach that verdict.That is not to say that such an outcome is the only possible interpretation of events -- but it is a plausible one.The popular characterization of Rodney King has been incomplete, to say the least.
NEWS
By H.G. Bissinger and H.G. Bissinger,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | January 25, 1998
"Official Negligence," by Lou Cannon. Times Books. 698 pages. $35.There is something wonderfully reassuring about a journalist such as Lou Cannon. While so many writers of non fiction today seem exclusively preoccupied with issues of narrative and character development, Cannon's obsession is with something so basic and essential it almost seems anachronistic.It isn't the art of the perfect narrative that he cares about, but the art of the facts, as many facts as he can possibly compile, not in the name of showing off his reportorial skills, but in the name of something far more elusive - trying to make sense of issues that are complicated, complex and not subject to the reflexive judgments that have become the sad legacy of our entertainment culture.
NEWS
By Frank D. Roylance and Ed Brandt and Frank D. Roylance and Ed Brandt,Staff Writers | April 20, 1993
An undercurrent of racial friction at Catonsville High School bubbled over yesterday into a shoving and shouting match during an assembly called to discuss Saturday's verdicts in the Rodney King beating trial in Los Angeles.Baltimore County police said there were no arrests, no injuries and no charges filed in the wake of the disturbance. But Principal Donald I. Mohler said at least 100 of the school's 1,100 students left school after the morning incident or were taken home by their parents.
NEWS
By Ann LoLordo and Ann LoLordo,Staff Writer Staff writers Roger Twigg, Kris Antonelli, Meredith Schlow, Alisa Samuels, Brian Sullam and Carol L. Bowers contributed to this article | May 1, 1992
With the robbery suspect now handcuffed in the back of a Baltimore police car, the half dozen cops at the scene turned their attention elsewhere: possible witnesses, the victim they had yet to find, the crowd gathered at the corner of Gwynn Oak and Liberty Heights avenues. As a rookie cop politely asked the bystanders to leave, a 21-year-old man stepped from the crowd."What do you think about Rodney King?" Michael Strange hollered to the police officer, a young black man not much older than himself.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | September 19, 2004
LOS ANGELES - He is still recognizable, though he has walked with a limp since he lost control of his car last year, crashed into a house at 100 mph and shattered his pelvis. City detectives recognize him. They offer their hands, tell him, "Stay out of trouble, man." Fathers point him out to their children. He still means something. By virtue of his troubled life and a single decent gesture, he is embedded in the American conscience. Rodney King, whose videotaped beating led to the riots that left 55 dead and $1 billion in property damage in Los Angeles in 1992, is living at once the American dream and the American nightmare.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | September 19, 2004
LOS ANGELES - He is still recognizable, though he has walked with a limp since he lost control of his car last year, crashed into a house at 100 mph and shattered his pelvis. City detectives recognize him. They offer their hands, tell him, "Stay out of trouble, man." Fathers point him out to their children. He still means something. By virtue of his troubled life and a single decent gesture, he is embedded in the American conscience. Rodney King, whose videotaped beating led to the riots that left 55 dead and $1 billion in property damage in Los Angeles in 1992, is living at once the American dream and the American nightmare.
NEWS
By Mike Adams and Mike Adams,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | April 11, 2002
LOS ANGELES - John McDaniel bristled with anger as he recalled the looting and arson that erupted a decade ago after four policemen who beat Rodney King were acquitted. McDaniel, who owns the Sons of Africa barber shop at 103rd Street and Central Avenue in Watts, had to defend his shop against what he called "senseless" arson and looting after the April 29, 1992, verdict. Today, Watts and the riot's epicenter in South Central Los Angeles continue to be troubled by poverty, unemployment and street gangs.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | April 28, 2001
There's no question about Anna Deavere Smith's great talent as an actress, writer and chronicler of American life. Nor is there any question about the success of "Twilight: Los Angeles 1992," her searing one-woman play - a blend of performance, social commentary and journalism. Her chronicle of the riots that ravaged the nation's second largest city was a triumph when it made its debut on stage in 1993. And so, the only question remaining is how well the stage version made the transition to film.
NEWS
October 2, 1998
AS METAPHOR, Tom Bradley's career as cop and mayor of Los Angeles was the stuff of Hollywood:Impoverished Texas background, born on cotton plantation, grandson of slaves, migration west; low-key, soft-spoken, stoic; stately demeanor wins over overwhelmingly white metropolis in bid to become L.A.'s first black mayor; in a final public scene near the end of his tenure, he loses his cool in reacting to the Rodney King saga.Mr. Bradley, who died Tuesday at the age of 80, was mayor for 20 years, overseeing tremendous growth, sprawl, gridlock and air pollution that have long been synonymous with the city.
NEWS
March 30, 1998
The stories of the Evers, King and Shabazz families ar entwined with the decades-long struggle to integrate American society. Over the next two days, the landmark events of those years will be chronicled.1975Jan. 24: The Washington Post reports that the FBI wiretapped Dr. King's phones during the 1964 Democratic National Convention.Feb. 28: A U.S. District Court judge in Memphis denies Ray's motion to withdraw his guilty plea.Oct. 23: Martin Luther King III turns 18.1976Nov. 16: Attallah Shabazz turns 18.1978Jan.
NEWS
By H.G. Bissinger and H.G. Bissinger,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | January 25, 1998
"Official Negligence," by Lou Cannon. Times Books. 698 pages. $35.There is something wonderfully reassuring about a journalist such as Lou Cannon. While so many writers of non fiction today seem exclusively preoccupied with issues of narrative and character development, Cannon's obsession is with something so basic and essential it almost seems anachronistic.It isn't the art of the perfect narrative that he cares about, but the art of the facts, as many facts as he can possibly compile, not in the name of showing off his reportorial skills, but in the name of something far more elusive - trying to make sense of issues that are complicated, complex and not subject to the reflexive judgments that have become the sad legacy of our entertainment culture.
NEWS
By MIKE ROYKO rTC | April 9, 1993
Let's have a brief current events quiz. It's simple. Tell me who the following people are:1. Rodney King2. Barbara Meller JensenYour time is up. And I can probably guess your score. Fifty percent.You know who Rodney King is because he has become world famous as the videotaped victim of police brutality.But you don't know who Barbara Meller Jensen is, correct?That's understandable. Mrs. Jensen has been in the news only a tiny fraction of the time that Rodney King has.Yet, she is a victim of a crime far more horrifying than the one allegedly committed against Rodney King.
NEWS
By ROGER SIMON | May 8, 1992
I called Reginald Denny yesterday, and while he was not giving interviews, the hospital spokesman said Denny had regained the power of speech.Nobody had known for sure if he ever would talk again. Nobody had known for sure if he ever would walk again."But he took a few steps for the first time," the spokesman said. "And that's very good news."Indeed it is. Reginald Denny is the white truck driver who was pulled from the cab of his cement truck and beaten during the recent rioting in Los Angeles.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | February 4, 1997
Watching Anna Deavere Smith's "Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992" in the theater where Lincoln was shot leaves you with an even more unsettling feeling than this extraordinary one-woman show evoked on Broadway three years ago.In the shadow of Lincoln's black-draped box at Ford's Theatre in Washington, Smith's examination of the riots that broke out after the first Rodney King trial offers a painful commentary on the relatively short distance this country has...
FEATURES
By Arthur Hirsch and Arthur Hirsch,SUN STAFF | January 31, 1997
WASHINGTON -- On a spring day in 1993, Anna Deavere Smith's search for American character took her to a lawyer's office in Los Angeles where she spoke to Reginald Denny, a white trucker beaten unconscious a year before in uprisings following the Rodney King police brutality trial. As usual, she switched on her tape recorder, asked questions, listened. It's remarkable, she says, how it's possible to discover something profound about someone in a short time.In this case, it happened near the end of the hour-long interview, when Smith asked Denny: "What do you want?"
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