The whole coverage of the Rodney King case should have been handled differently by the media. It’s a slippery slope when creating a hero in the media especially when there is an unfortunate and despicable act as there was back in 1991 when Rodney King was involved in a car chase and then such a bad beating by police, with video of the beating to be witnessed by the whole world. But what must be remembered was that Rodney King was guilty of speeding in excess of 117 MPH from police in the first place and under the influence of alcohol and resisiting arrest. He was a parolee fresh out of jail nervous to be caught by the police and sent back to jail. The media must be careful who they try to vilify and who they try to make a hero of, not everyone can handle the stress of it and not everyone should be put in that roll. Sometimes people fold under the pressure and don’t hold up to the roll of hero, they were never meant for that roll and don’t want it.
Unfortunately some bad police officers were over-zealous in there handling of it, but who knows what any of us would have done in their place. I agree the officers should have been brought up on charges. After having used a stun gun which didn’t seem to faze Mr. King, they used their batons to excess to subdue him thinking he was under the influence of PCP. It was police brutality, but we were not on the jury so I guess we can’t say what happened there?!
Unfortunately they were acquitted, all except for one police officer and mayhem ensued. We must stand behind our jurisprudence system even if we don’t agree with it. To err on the side of innocence sucks if you want that person to be guilty, but it’s better than having innocent people going to jail, I guess.
Rioting broke out in LA but how does that help? What was the excuse for that? I blame some of that on the media and their inciting the public with their coverage. I understand African Americans didn’t agree with the outcome, but you can’t riot every time you don’t agree with a court case. Does anyone remember the OJ case, too?
Rodney King was awarded $3.8 million for the civil suit. He continued having trouble with drugs and alcohol for years, continuing his run-ins with the law and even the penal system. Having just died from drowning in his own pool at the age of 47 unfortunately I don’t think the money was a boon to his life. The toxicology screens should be in soon. How unfortunate this man never felt he could live up to the civil rights leader he was spawned to represent by the media after stating “Can we all get along” as an outcry to the public to calm the masses after the rioting in 1992.
What shall happen when the outcome of the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case is read? How will the media splash this outcome….will they try to incite already frayed racial tensions helping to cause rioting again? I sure hope not. Trayvon’s parents have asked for peace and I hope they plead for common sense and cool heads to prevail.
I hope the media remembers and history and doesn’t repeat itself!
Written by Evelyn Garone 6/19/12