Rodney King first made national news back in 1990, when a amateur cameraman caught a a few minutes of tape that shows a seemingly compliant King being beaten by L.A.P.D. officers. King had been pulled over and was arrested on a minor drug charge. This evening was one of many both before and after that King would wind up in trouble with the law.
That night was pivotal in the nation's discussion about racism, police brutality and many others topics. When the officers were found innocent, the L.A. riots pursuits. Fifty-eight people died in those horrifying three days. People were afraid to leave their homes. The L.A. riots caused an unknown damages, destroying many small businesses which had been built by families who lived in the very community served. Most shocking 58 people died in these riots. Most of America witnessed one of the most brutal beatings of the riot, that of Reginald Denning, when he was pulled out of his big rig and beaten senseless. He survived, but his life has never been the same. (The officers were later convicted on federal civil rights charges and then served a few years in jail. King won a settlement from the LAPD. His life seems to go downhill from then on…hence his appearance on celebrity rehab and it's sequel, Sober Living.)
Today, rehab guru Dr. Drew accompanied King to the spot were the beating happened. He read what seemed to be a heart-felt notice offering forgiveness to the officers involved in the beating. He also laid an arrangement in honor of those killed during the riots. For those of you not familiar to the twelve steps, this is a big step. Resentment and anger often block recovery, so this could be a big step in King's efforts to turn around his life. I admire King for offering his forgiveness as, to my knowledge, the officers have never admitted guilt or offered an apology to King.
I know King's comments many years ago during the riots received a lot of heckles, but maybe he was onto something: Can we all just get along?
Good luck Rodney!