THE POWER OF VIDEO

Rodney King and the Los Angeles riots

When most people recall the name of Rodney King, they automatically recall a videotape of King being brutally beaten up by white officers of the Los Angeles Police Department. The video tape was recorded by an amateur cameraman who had been waked up by police sirens and a police helicopter in the early hours of March 3, 1991.

Played over and over again on television, the video shows uniformed officers surrounding a large black man, who "writhed on the ground and attempts to rise, but is clubbed and kicked into submission while other policemen watch with folded arms."[4]

Because King is black and the police officers are white, the videotape portrayed a vivid picture of racism and police ...

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