123931 032: Rodney King pleads to the rioters to make peace May 1, 1992 in Los Angeles, CA. As a result of the riots more than 50 died, over 4,000 injured and $1 billion in property damage. (Photo by Douglas Burrows/Liaison)
Rodney King's legacy (2012)
04:15 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

Rodney King was found dead in his swimming pool Sunday

The acquittal of officers in his beating sparked 1992 riots in Los Angeles

King was awarded $3.8 million in his suit against the city

CNN  — 

A timeline of Rodney King’s life, including his 1991 beating by Los Angeles police and its aftermath.

March 3, 1991

Rodney King is beaten by LAPD officers after King leads police on a high-speed chase through Los Angeles County. George Holliday videotapes the beating from his apartment balcony.

March 4, 1991

Holliday delivers the tape to local television station, KTLA.

March 7, 1991

Rodney King is released without being charged.

March 15, 1991

Sgt. Stacey Koon and officers Laurence Michael Powell, Timothy Wind, and Theodore Briseno are indicted by a Los Angeles grand jury in connection with the beating.

May 10, 1991

A grand jury refuses to indict 17 officers who stood by at the King beating and did nothing.

November 26, 1991

Superior Court Judge Stanley Weisberg orders the trial of the four officers charged in the King beating to be moved to Simi Valley.

Rodney King: What happened in 1991

April 29, 1992

The four white LAPD officers are acquitted of beating King. Riots start at the intersection of Florence and Normandie in South Central Los Angeles. Reginald Denny, a white truck driver, is pulled from his truck and beaten. A news helicopter captures the beating on videotape. Gov. Pete Wilson declares a state of emergency and calls in National Guard troops.

April 30-May 4, 1992

Dusk-to-dawn curfews are enforced in the city and county of Los Angeles.

May 1, 1992

Rodney King makes an emotional plea for calm, stating, “People, I just want to say, can we all get along? Can we get along? Can we stop making it horrible for the older people and the kids?”

August 4, 1992

A federal grand jury returns indictments against Koon, Powell, Wind, and Briseno on the charge of violating the civil rights of Rodney King.

February 25, 1993

Trial begins.

April 16, 1993

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.

August 4, 1993

U.S. District Judge John Davies sentences both Koon and Powell to 30 months in prison for violating King’s civil rights. Powell is found guilty of violating King’s constitutional right to be free from an arrest made with “unreasonable force.” Ranking officer Koon is convicted of permitting the civil rights violation to occur.

Photos: Rodney King and the LA Riots

April 19, 1994

The U.S. District Court in Los Angeles awards King $3.8 million in compensatory damages in a civil lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles. King had demanded $56 million, or $1 million for every blow struck by the officers.

June 1, 1994

Rodney King is awarded nothing in punitive damages in a civil trial against the police officers. He had asked for $15 million.

April 2012

Rodney King’s autobiography, “The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption. Learning How We Can All Get Along,” is published.

June 17, 2012

King is found dead in his swimming pool, according to police and his fiancee, Cynthia Kelly.

Overheard on CNN.com: Rodney King ‘had demons. But called them his own’

Rodney King looks back without anger