On the 20th anniversary of the an attack that would shock America and spark riots in Los Angeles, Rodney King said violence as vengeance for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin is wrong because, “Two wrongs do not make a right.”
The 47-year-old has released a new book this week, “The Riot Within: My Journey From Redemption To Rebellion,” and said he’s now at peace with the notorious 1991 police attack that made him a household name.
The New York Daily News reports that the video made its way to the media showing police officers giving more than 50 baton blows on his crumpled, unarmed body after a freeway chase.
He said he’d go through that night again if necessary, even though acquittal of the officers in April 1992 unleashed the rioting that claimed 54 lives.
“I still suffer from headaches to this day and walk with a limp, but after the beating with me, a lot of things changed,” he told The News. “People looked at civil rights and my situation and said it was time for a change. Now we have a black president.”
King eventually won $3.8 million from the city but said the money’s gone now – spent on houses for him and his mom, a construction business and a record label.
He said he’s struck by parallels with the Martin case – in which wannabe cop George Zimmerman shot the unarmed black 17-year-old – but urged restraint.
“When I heard the scream on the 911 call, I heard myself 20 years ago. It sounds like a death scream,” King said. “But it’s a touchy situation. We have to wait for the justice system to take care of this.”