Rodney King: Life and Trials Chronology

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Apr 02Rodney King Sacramento CA, black motorist beaten by Los Angeles cops, is born.Ref: 5
Mar 02(King) King drinks heavily at the home of Bryant ("Pooh") Allen while watching a basketball game. After the game, King, Allen, and another friend named Freddie Helms drive down the 210 freeway, singing to the radio.Ref: 87
Mar 03(King) About 12:30 A.M., King's Hyundai is spotted speeding on the 210 freeway by two California Highway Patrol officers, Tim and Melanie Singer.The CHP officers pursue King at speeds of over 110 mph.King's vehicle is finally cut off about fifteen minutes later.As the Singers, with guns drawn, attempt to arrest King, Sgt. Stacey Koon and three other LAPD officers (Laurence Powell, Theodore Briseno, and Timothy Wind) intervene. From his nearby apartment, George Holliday videotapes the scene, as three officers strike King over fifty times with metal batons before finally handcuffing him. King is taken to a hospital by ambulance.Ref: 87
Mar 04(King) Holliday gives his videotape to Los Angeles television station KTLA. KTLA takes the tape to LAPD headquarters, where it is viewed by senior officers. That night, KTLA broadcasts the Holliday videotape on the evening news.Ref: 87
Mar 05(King) CNN obtains a copy of the Holliday videotape and plays it on its nationwide cable news program.The FBI opens an investigation of the King beating.Ref: 87
Mar 06(King) The Holliday videotape is played on the evening news programs of all major networks. Most viewers express shock at what they see. King, meanwhile, is released from jail without charges.Ref: 87
Mar 07(King) Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates announces that the officers involved in the King beating will be prosecuted.Ref: 87
Mar 08(King) District Attorney Ira Reiner announces that he will seek indictments against the officers from a grand jury. Fifteen officers present at the scene of the King arrest are suspended.Ref: 87
Mar 10(King) A Los Angeles Times poll reports that 92% of those who had seen the Holliday videotape thought excessive force had been used against King.Ref: 87
Mar 11(King) A grand jury watches the videotape and begins listening to testimony.Ref: 87
Mar 14(King) Speakers at a Los Angeles Police Commission hearing demand the ousting of Chief Daryl F. Gates in the wake of the videotaped police beating of motorist Rodney King. RefRef: 64
Mar 14(King) The grand jury returns indictments against Stacey Koon, Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind, and Theodore Brisenio.Ref: 87
Mar 15(King) Four Los Angeles police are charged in the beating of Rodney King.Ref: 2
Apr 01(King) Amidst charges against the LAPD of racism and incompetence, Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley announces that a commission headed by Warren Christopher will evaluate the performance of the LAPD.Ref: 87
Apr 02(King) Mayor Bradley asks for the resignation of Police Chief Gates, but Gates refuses.Ref: 87
May 16(King) Judge Bernard Kamins sets June 17 as the opening date for the trial of the four officers. He denies a defense motion for a change of venue out of Los Angeles County. The defense appeals the denial of their motion.Ref: 87
Jul 23(King) The California Court of Appeals unanimously grants the change of venue motion. The Court also takes the case from Judge Kamins because of an ex parte message he sent to prosecutors: "Don't panic. You can trust me." The case is reassigned to Judge Stanley Weisberg.Ref: 87
Nov 26(King) Judge Weisberg transfers the LAPD Officers' case to predominantly white and conservative Simi Valley. He announces that the case will be heard beginning in February.Ref: 87
Feb 05Jury selection begins in the Los Angeles cops beating Rodney King case.Ref: 5
Mar 02(King) A jury of ten whites, one Hispanic, and one Filipino-American is selected. Six jurors are male, six female.Ref: 87
Apr 29(King) (3:15PM) Jury acquits Koon, Wind, and Briseno of all charges. Jury is unable to reach verdict on one charge against Powell.Ref: 87
Apr 29(King) (5:00PM) Rioting begins in Los Angeles. When it is over, 53 people are dead, over 7,000 people arrested, and more than $1 billion in property damage is sustained.Ref: 87
Apr 30(King) President George Bush announces that he has ordered the Department of Justice to investigate the possibility of filing charges against the LAPD officers for violating the federal civil rights of Rodney King.Ref: 87
May 01On the third day of the Los Angeles riots, Rodney King appeared in public to appeal for calm, asking "Can we all get along?"Ref: 70
May 01Los Angeles Dodgers postpone 3 games due to racial riots due to Rodney King.Ref: 5
Aug 04(King) A federal grand jury returns indictments against the four officers.Ref: 87
Feb 03(King) State trial of the four officers begins at the East Ventura County Courthouse in Simi Valley.Ref: 87
Feb 25(King) Trial begins in the courtroom of Judge Davies on the charge of violating the civil rights of Rodney King.Ref: 87
Mar 09(King) Rodney King in court says he thinks he heard cops yell racial slurs.Ref: 5
Apr 16(King) The federal jury convicts Koon and Powell on one charge of violating King's civil rights. Wind and Briseno are found not guilty. No disturbances follow the verdict.Ref: 87
Apr 17(King) A federal jury in Los Angeles convicted two former police officers of violating the civil rights of beaten motorist Rodney King; two other officers were acquitted.Ref: 70
Aug 04(King) Judge Davies sentences Los Angeles police officers Laurence Powell and Stacy Koon to thirty months in a federal correctional camp. Various civil rights groups complain that the sentences are not harsh enough.Ref: 87
Aug 27(King) The Justice Department announces that it will appeal the sentence of Judge Davies as too light.Ref: 87
Oct 12(King) (and 13th) Powell and Koon report one day apart to Camp Parks near San Francisco to begin serving their federal sentences.Ref: 87
Apr 19(King) In a civil suit by King against Los Angeles, a jury awards $3.8 million in damages.Ref: 87
Apr 22(King) A civil suit against the officers begins before Judge Davies. King asks for $15 million in damages.Ref: 87
Jun 01(King) A civil trial against the officers ends with a jury awarding $0 in damages to King.Ref: 87
Jan 13(King) The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rules that the sentences by Judge Davies was too lenient and sends the case back for resentencing.Ref: 87
Sep 28(King) The U. S. Supreme Court agrees to hear Koon's and Powell's appeal of the Ninth Circuit decision sending their case back to Judge Davies for imposition of a harsher sentence.Ref: 87
Oct 15(King) (and 16th) Koon is released from the Federal Work Camp in Sheridan, Oregon, to enter a halfway house in California. Powell is released from a Federal Work Camp near Edwards Air Force Base, north of Los Angeles.Ref: 87
Nov 23(King) An armed assailant invades a halfway house in Rubidoux, California in an attempt to kill Koon, but Koon is away for the Thanksgiving holiday. The armed invader in killed by police in a shoot-out. Koon is allowed to serve the remainder of his term in a form of house arrest.Ref: 87
Dec 13(King) (and 14th) Powell, then Koon are released.Ref: 87
Jun 13(King) The U. S. Supreme Court reverses the Ninth Circuit and upholds the sentence of Judge Davies on most points, but orders resentencing on the basis of two errors.Ref: 87
Sep 26(King) Judge Davies refuses to extend the sentences of Koon and Powell. He reimposes the thirty month sentence, effectively ending the case.Ref: 87
Last Update: October 27th, 2005
© 2000-2005   Kenneth Fussichen