Rodney King Forgives Officers Who Beat Him

At first glance, VH1'a Sober House, like its predecessor, Celebrity Rehab, appears to be exploitative reality TV at it's worst — stars hitting their bottoms and relapsing, going on drama-fueled drug binges.

But there are moments on Sober House that are not only real and touching, they are even cathartic. In the most recent episode with Rodney King, the moment is downright historic. In this clip King revisits the site of his infamous beating. He forgives the officers who beat him and prays for the people who died during the riots. More than a decade later, Los Angeles is still healing from this incident. Hopefully this is one more step in our own rehab, one more step towards recovery for the city.

Dr Drew's reflections on his visit with the Rodney King to the site of the infamous beating (from the VH1 website)

You visit the site of Rodney’s beating this episode. What was that experience like?

Amazing. Every time I discuss it with him, I’m shaken to my core. I have a certain amount of denial about it, it’s like I can’t believe it. To ride with him and retrace the steps and to hear moment-by-moment what he went through, I don’t have words strong enough to tell you how uncomfortable and…spooky’s not the right word. It’s unbelievable, really. The other unbelievable thing is that we were standing there looking at that building with the crazy roof and he said, “This didn’t used to be here. You used to be able to see the lake.” He was trying to run to the lake that night. We go inside and it’s the L.A. County Children’s Museum. They built the L.A. County Children’s Museum on the site of the beating! That’s crazy. We talked to the directors and they were like, “Yeah, we heard that happened somewhere around here.” It happened eight feet from there!

Rodney seems relatively well-adjusted.

He got a little jacked-up being there. He had some post-traumatic stress symptoms. He was getting a little anxious, his speech was getting pressured. I’m sure if I measured his blood pressure and pulse, it would have been way up. But he is amazingly forgiving about the entire experience. You know, his peers often say, they picked on the teddy bear. Why this guy?

Check out LAist's interview with "house mom" Jennifer Gimenez