Skip to comments.Cop brutality figure Rodney King turns celeb boxer
Posted on 11/01/2009 10:30:57 AM PST by buccaneer81
Cop brutality figure Rodney King turns celeb boxer King in the ring By ORyan Johnson / Herald Exclusive Sunday, November 1, 2009
Rodney King, the famed police punching bag whose beating caught on tape put a bulls eye on cops and eventually led to the 1992 Los Angeles riots, has turned celebrity boxer and says hes aching for a rematch with one of the members of L.A.s finest who viciously pummeled him in March 1991.
I was supposed to fight one of the police officers that beat me. I worked out to get ready for it. But then somebody started talking to him and it never happened. I was really broken-hearted, King told the Herald. I was supposed to fight (Laurence M.) Powell. I would love to get that fight. Im 44 years old. It would be nice, though.
The middle-aged police brutality poster boy is in the Bay State preparing for a Celebrity Boxing Federation bout scheduled for Friday in Springfield. This will be his second fight after a September Celebrity Boxing brawl in which he emerged the winner by decision against a disgraced small-town Pennsylvania-cop-turned-pugilist.
But King has his sights set on former Los Angeles cop Powell, who is shown on the famed video with the other officers repeatedly hitting King in the head with a baton, swinging at him an estimated 40 times. Together, the officers struck King 56 times with the metal batons.
Although acquitted of state charges of assault and excessive use of force, Powell was later convicted in federal court of violating Kings civil rights.
For now, King is satisfied with his near-amateur matches against minor celebrities whose place in history is far less cemented than his own. He finds peace in boxing and comfort in the routine of running and hitting the gym.
Its a sport to me, he said. I always practice and work out to win and I get a big kick out of the hype. I love the workout.
King has led a turbulent life in the spotlight since speeding away from California Highway Patrol in March 1991. After King won a $3.8 million civil suit and watched two of the cops who beat him go to federal prison for violating his civil rights, King was jailed for 20 days for a hit-and-run involving his then-wife. He was also shot in the head and chest by robbers in 2007 and has waged a public battle with the bottle.
He said what pulls him through is the affection from strangers.
Theres not one day that I dont think about it. It was a really, really bad situation to be in. I never thought I would be the center of racial unrest, he said. Im glad it happened to me and not someone else. After all the smoke and fire is gone now, I met some wonderful people. People still come up to me. They want pictures, they say, Rodney, its nice to meet you.
Prior to the video, the LAPDs brutality against blacks was an urban legend that leaked from the inner city to the suburbs through rap lyrics. Kings video changed that and overnight gave weight to the claims. King said hes constantly contacted by people with their own stories of police brutality.
It really feels like Im a part of something positive now, King said. Theres a guy who came up to me even yesterday . . . he was almost in tears. He was in a bad situation. He said if he hadnt grabbed the cops gun, he would have been dead. For me to be alive and put hope into a lot of other people, it feels great.
That ain’t right. Who would dare hit him?
So much for just getting along.
Well he certainly knows how to take a punch.(sar.)
...I saw Rodney on one of those “celebrity” reality shows where they are all struggling to stay sober...I ended up liking him...he ultimately got over $2 million from the City of Los Angeles and lost it all thru booze and drugs...I’m sorry he has to go on the pseudo boxing show but I guess he needs the money.
My thought was “Can’t we all just hit along?”
well, thank goodness there is never any black on white violence
I'm sure this isn't what you meant, but I just got an image in my mind of her saying "I'd hit it."
She would "hit" anyone or anything I think!
I see she is into heavyweight boxing now!
Proves that cream isn’t the only thing that rises to the top.
Would crack cocaine abuse be considered a performance enhancer?