Letter: Details reveal King’s violent history



The June 18 story “Face of L.A. riots dies at 47” in The Columbian continues the farce that Rodney King was just a “motorist” who was “beaten” by Los Angeles police officers for no apparent reason. Toward the end of the reporting, the story finally states King’s record and his parole.

In Stacey Koon’s book, “Presumed Guilty: The Tragedy of the Rodney King Affair,” Koon lays out the case minute by minute. Koon, a former sergeant with the Los Angeles Police Department, was one of the officers charged with using excessive force in the beating of Rodney King.

Nowhere does any news reporter tell us that the whole issue relating to King’s violent resistance to arrest was first initiated by the over-aggressive actions of the two California Highway Patrol officers who were the arresting officers in the original stop. The CHP’s involvement is rarely mentioned.

The news media continue to imply that King was “beaten” for no reason. The reasons were that he was speeding and evading arrest of the CHP, under the influence of drugs and alcohol, in the company of two other ex-convicts and violently resisted arrest and attacked one of the LAPD officers. Any one of the above parole violations should have put King back in prison where he belonged.

Gary S. Smith