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Rodney King Gone (Thanks, Rodney – though still we do not listen.)

from The LA Times

Rodney King was haunted by memories, daunted by pain

The 1991 beating by LAPD officers and years of drug and alcohol abuse left Rodney King unmoored. But he sought a new beginning.

By Kurt Streeter, Los Angeles Times

Rodney King
Rodney King was working hard to mend personal relationships that had frayed during two decades of instability and trouble. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times / October 3, 2008)

Rodney King spoke candidly of death. I recall a time last March when he and I were walking through his Rialto home. He looked at photos of the LAPD officers who’d beaten him. Without prompting, he opened up. “I’m just glad I survived what he did to me,” he said, speaking of one of the officers, Stacey Koon. He held his two fingers about a quarter-inch apart. “I was this close to death,” he said. “This close.”

He went on to say there were long moments that night in Lake View Terrace in 1991 when it felt as if he had, in fact, died. Moments when it seemed he was outside his body, looking down at a scene of horror below. King explained how, as boots and batons fell, as electricity from Tasers ripped through his body, he thought of what it was like for African slaves to withstanding whippings. The thought of what they went through helped him stay alive.

Make no mistake, that wasn’t the only time Rodney King could have died. He was extremely candid about his addiction to drugs and alcohol; about the damage he’d done to his body and how addiction could have cost him his life on several occasions. He felt lucky to have survived moments like the time in 2003 when he sped down a street in Rialto, high on PCP, and crashed into a tree.

He compared himself to a cat. “They’ve only got nine lives,” he said. “I don’t want to get to nine.”

[ click to continue reading at LATimes.com ]

Posted on June 17, 2012 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Los Angeles | | No Comments »