Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


Rodney King: 17 Years After The Riots

Dr. Drew, Rodney King, Steven Adler and Jeff Conaway (L-R) | VH1's "Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew" | Photo by Beatrice Neumann, VH1 / used with permission
LAist relies on your reader support, not paywalls.
Freely accessible local news is vital. Please power our reporters and help keep us independent with a donation today.

Today marks the seventeenth anniversary of the Los Angeles Riots. In recognition of Wednesday April 29, 1992, LAist presents a special feature with one the era's most recognizable figures.

Rodney King’s near-death plunge to infamy began with a twelve-pack of malt liquor. King’s intoxicated, high-speed driving on March 3, 1991 united him a group of Los Angeles Police Department officers. Their boots, billy clubs, and Taser, would beat the 25 year-old King into the history books.

Thirteen months later, on April 29, 1992, LAPD officers, Stacy Koon, Laurence Powell, Theodore Briseno and Timothy Wind, were acquitted of assaulting King. The city’s mounting racial unrest ignited. That was the first day of the Los Angeles Riots. More than fifty people would lose their lives, and damages would exceed hundreds of millions of dollars.

King, 44, no longer drinks alcohol or uses drugs. He’s ten months sober, and has recently found peace with the LAPD officers who scarred both his life and the LAPD.