He was found floating in his pool. Initial reports state that King likely died as a result of accidental drowning.
Rodney King wasn’t the perfect victim of police brutality. In many ways that’s what made the story that unfolded after footage of police savagely beating him for 15 minutes after a police chase touch me. No, King wasn’t the perfect victim…totally innocent and lacking shades of grey.
King was the typical victim…the average victim of police brutality, with his oh so human challenges and struggles.
King was anyone…everyone…the strong yet troubled black man straight from central casting to be beaten for 15 minutes by police in the middle of the street.
And now Rodney King is dead.
King lived a life before…before the police chase ended and police surrounded him and beat him.
Rodney King lived a life after he was assaulted…after the police were acquitted and a city went up in flames.
For some, Rodney King will always be the man writhing on the ground as police circled around him delivering blows for 15 minutes.
For others King will forever be the large black man who got what he deserved…who must have done something wrong…who then played the mystical race card to get paid.
But for me, King is anyone and everyone…a point in history where I learned the difference between a black man’s justice and the justice white men enjoy.
I see King…face swollen and bruised, lips trembling with emotion…a human being standing before the world asking whether we can all just get along.
And we answer that question…over and over again…day after day.
Can we all just get along?
…if we want to.