Rodney King, iconic figure of the early 90s, dead at 47

The LA Riots shocked me as a child, I remember being glued to the coverage and trying to understand the seemingly senselessness of it all.

I remember King’s statement on the third day of the riot “People, I just want to say, can we all get along? Can we get along?” and how as a kid we mocked it on the playground.

As I grew, I studied the Riots from a strategic viewpoint and learned more about the complex man behind the statement. King was a complicated man with a complicated background.

Recently, it appeared he had tackled his demons. His recent book tour for The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption was revealing a different side to a man widely only known for being on the receiving end of police batons and his famous statement.

You can listen to his April 25th appearance on WNYC’s The Leonard Lopate Show here.


Was George Holliday’s video of the beating citizen journalism? I like to define citizen journalism broadly, and prefer to just call it journalism. However, I never thought of the tape as an example of citizen journalism.

It was, he tried to investigate what happened. When he didn’t get anywhere with the police, he handed the tape over to television station KTLA and didn’t seek payment. The Poynter article linked in the previous paragraph is a great discussion of how the tools have changed and the state of modern “citizen journalism”.

This tweet frames the question of if Holliday’s video is journalism in an interesting context:

@jason_pontin: why is the guy who noticed it and took the video not a journalist but the guy who reads a teleprompter on the TV news is?

— Mathew Ingram (@mathewi) June 17, 2012