Rodney King riot: Timeline of key events

Saturday marks 25 years since the start of one of the deadliest race riots in American history. The violence erupted in South Los Angeles after a jury acquitted four white police officers in the beating of black motorist Rodney King. A look at key events before, during and after the unrest:


— March 3, 1991 —

Rodney King is pulled over by California Highway Patrol officers for speeding on a Los Angeles freeway. King, who later admitted he tried to elude authorities because he had been drinking and was on probation for a robbery conviction, pulled off the freeway and eventually stopped his car in front of a San Fernando Valley apartment building. At that point, Los Angeles police officers took charge of the traffic stop. George Holliday, who lived in the apartment building and was awakened by the noise, came out to videotape the scene, filming four white officers beating and kicking the black motorist dozens of times, including after he was on the ground. After Holliday turns over the video to a local TV station, it quickly spreads and creates international outrage.


This March 3, 1991 image made from video provided by KTLA Los Angeles shows police officers beating Rodney King. King was pulled over by California Highway Patrol officers for speeding on a Los Angeles freeway. King, who later admitted he tried to elude authorities because he had been drinking and was on probation for a robbery conviction, pulled off the freeway and eventually stopped his car in front of a San Fernando Valley apartment building. At that point, Los Angeles police officers took charge of the traffic stop. George Holliday, who lived in the apartment building and was awakened by the noise, came out to videotape the scene. After Holliday turned the video over to a local TV station, it quickly spread and created an international outrage. (George Holliday/KTLA Los Angeles via AP)


— March 15, 1991 —

A Los Angeles County grand jury indictment is unsealed charging the four officers seen in the video with felony assault and other offenses.

— March 21, 1991 —

The four — Sgt. Stacey Koon and officers Theodore Briseno, Laurence Powell and Timothy Wind — plead not guilty.


Stacey Koon and officers Theodore Briseno, Laurence Powell and Timothy Wind are shown, March 14, 1991. (AP Photo/LA District Attorney)


— Nov. 26, 1991 —

The officers' trial is moved to Simi Valley, California, a nearly all-white suburb 30 miles north of downtown Los Angeles that is home to a large number of LA police officers after a court determines the case's massive publicity and the highly charged political environment it created might not allow them to receive a fair trial in their own city.

— April 29, 1992 —

After seven days of deliberations, jurors acquit the officers of almost all charges, deadlocking on one assault count involving Powell.


Governer Pete Wilson, center, saying at a press conference Thursday night in Los Angeles, May 1, 1992 that 2,000 National Guardsmen have been deployed with an additional 2,000 ready to be deployed. Wilson added that another 2,000 guardsmen could be called into the area as needed. Mayor Tom Bradley and Chief of Police Daryl Gates are behind Wilson. (AP Photo/Julie Markes)


— April 29, 1992 —

Soon after the verdict is read, an angry Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley denounces it as "senseless," declaring, "The jury's verdict will never blind the world to what we saw on the videotape."

— April 29, 1992 —

As word of the verdict spreads through predominantly black South Los Angeles, residents explode in anger, burning and looting stores by the hundreds and attacking non-black passers-by. Gov. Pete Wilson complies with Bradley's request to send in the National Guard.


Demonstrators protest the verdict in the Rodney King beating case in front of the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters Wednesday, April 29, 1992 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

In this April 30, 1992 photo, a fire burns out of control at the corner of 67th Street and West Boulevard in South Central Los Angeles. On April 29, 1992, four white police officers were declared innocent in the beating of black motorist Rodney King, and Los Angeles erupted in deadly riots. Three days later, 55 people were dead and more than 2,000 injured. Fires and looting had destroyed $1 billion worth of property. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)


— May 1, 1992 —

On the third day of the riot, King makes an emotional plea for peace, appearing before TV cameras to ask in a trembling voice, "Can we all get along?"


Rodney King makes a statement at a Los Angeles press conference, May 1, 1992, pleading for the end to the rioting and looting that has plagued the city following the verdicts in the trial against four Los Angeles Police officers accused of beating him. It was King's first public appearance since last year. (AP Photo/David Longstreath)


— May 3, 1992 —

A citywide curfew enacted at the height of the violence is lifted.

— June 28, 1992 —

Police Chief Daryl Gates, under intense public pressure since the King beating to resign, retires from the LAPD after 43 years, the last 14 as chief.


In this May 29, 1992 photo, Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates autographs his book for new police officers after their graduation in Los Angeles. Police say that Gates, who resigned in the wake of 1992 rioting that followed the Rodney King beating. (AP Photo/Chris Martinez)


— Aug. 5, 1992 —

Three months after their acquittals in criminal court, LAPD Sgt. Stacey Koon and Officers Laurence Powell, Theodore Briseno and Timothy Wind are indicted on federal charges of violating King's civil rights.


Laurence Powell, foreground, and Stacey Koon leave the federal courthouse in Los Angeles Thursday morning Aug. 6, 1992 after surrendering to authorities. They were released on $5,000 bond each to await further proceedings in the federal civil rights case stemming from the Rodney King beating. (AP Photo/ Nick Ut)


— Dec. 7, 1992 —

Damian "Football" Williams, the teenager seen on video smashing a brick into the head of white trucker Reginald Denny at the start of the riots, is convicted of assault and other charges and sentenced to 10 years in prison.


Antoine Miller, Henry Watson and Damian Williams, left to right, stand in Superior Court in Los Angeles, Aug. 25, 1992 for arraignment on charges in connection with the riot-related beating of trucker Reginald Denny. The case was assigned to a black judge who was immediately removed by the prosecution, raising defense claims of racism. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)


— April 17, 1993 —

Koon and Powell are convicted of violating King's civil rights. Briseno and Wind are acquitted.


In this Saturday, April 18, 1993 photo, Los Angeles police officer Stacey Koon describes what is happening on the Rodney King beating video to host Steve Dunleavy at a hotel in Valencia, Calif., during the taping of the syndicated television show "A Current Affair." Koon was interviewed shortly after he was found guilty in the Rodney King civil rights trial. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)


— Aug. 3, 1994 —

The city of Los Angeles agrees to pay King $3.8 million for medical bills, pain and suffering sustained as a result of the beating. The settlement resolves a long legal battle during which the city and King sued each other.


Rodney King gestures at a news conference in Santa Ana, California on Thursday, June 2, 1994 after a jury ordered on Wednesday that no punitive damages against any of the police officers involved in the March 1991 taped beating be paid. The same jury earlier ordered the city of Los Angeles to pay $3.8 million to King for his pain and suffering. Milton Grimes, King's attorney is at left. (AP Photo/Chris Martinez)


— Aug. 4, 1994 —

Powell and Koon are sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison.

— April 16, 2010 —

Gates dies of cancer at age 83.


A police honor guard carries the casket following a public memorial service for retired Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl F. Gates, following a private funeral service, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles Tuesday, April 27, 2010. Seated from left are Gates' brother Steve Gates, son Scott Gates, daughters Kathy Gates Perricone and Debbie Ledesma, and Gates' longtime companion Gina Velardi, in hat. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)


— June 17, 2012 —

Just weeks after the 20th anniversary of the riots and soon after releasing his memoir "The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption," King drowns in his backyard swimming pool at age 47.


In this Sunday, June 17, 2012 photo, police detective Carla McCullough, right, and a photographer conduct an investigation at Rodney King's home in Rialto, Calif. King, the black motorist whose 1991 videotaped beating by Los Angeles police officers was the touchstone for one of the most destructive race riots in U.S. history, died Sunday. He was 47. King's fiancee called police to report that she found him at the bottom of the swimming pool at their home in Rialto, Calif., police Lt. Dean Hardin said. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)


Below is a gallery of photos from our photo archive of the Rodney King riots and the aftermath. 


In this Wednesday, April 29, 1992 photo, people enter and leave a swap meet in South Central Los Angeles. Violence broke out in the area after four Los Angeles police officers were acquitted on all but one charge for the videotaped beating of motorist Rodney King. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

 

A California Highway Patrol officer stands guard at Ninth Street and Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles as smoke rises from a fire further down the street, April 30, 1992. It was the second day of unrest in Los Angeles following the acquittal of four Los Angeles police officers in the Rodney King beating case. (AP Photo/David Longstreath)

 

With flames leaping over 50 feet into the night sky, an auto parts store burns out of control in Los Angeles, Thursday, April 30, 1992. Numerous fires were set and stores were looted after the Rodney King beating trial verdict. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)

 

An unidentified owner of a clothing store reacts to seeing her burning business in Los Angeles, Thursday, April 30, 1992. Her store was one of more than 300 burned by rioters after the acquittal of four police officers on Wednesday in the Rodney King beating trial. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

Los Angeles police form a line to prevent a crowd from going into a building, April 30, 1992, in a day of fires and looting.  It was a long day as officers moved from trouble spot to trouble spot.  (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

 

In this April 30, 1992 photo, a man carries a couch from a store in South Central Los Angeles as looting and rioting continued throughout the area. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

 

Smoke rises from a shopping center burned by rioters early Thursday morning April 30, 1992 as the Los Angeles skyline is partially obscured by smoke. More than 300 fires were reportedly set after four police officers were acquitted Wednesday of the beating of motorist Rodney King. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

 

In this April 30, 1992 photo, a Los Angeles police officer takes aim at a looter in a market at Alvarado and Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles during the second night of rioting in the city. (AP Photo/John Gaps III)

 

An unidentified protester voices his opposition to the acquittal of the four Los Angeles Police officers on all charges but one Wednesday, April 29, 1992 outside Parker Center in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Martinez)

 

Police stand over a group of handcuffed looting suspects in Los Angeles Thursday, April 30, 1992 as rioting continued throughout the area.  The worst riots in U.S. modern history began when outnumbered police were faced down by a crowd angered by the acquittals of four white police officers accused in the videotaped beating of black motorist Rodney King.  Few lives in the city were untouched by the 1992 riots, but some were nearly destroyed.  (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

 

In this Wednesday, April 30, 1992 photo, several buildings in a shopping center are engulfed in flames before firefighters arrive as rioting continued in South-Central Los Angeles in the aftermath of the verdicts in the Rodney King assault case. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

 

In this April 30, 1992 photo, two Korean men stand on the roof of a grocery store with rifles to prevent looters from entering in Los Angeles. On April 29, 1992, four white police officers were declared innocent in the beating of black motorist Rodney King, and Los Angeles erupted in the deadliest riots of the century. Three days later, 55 people were dead and more than 2,000 injured. Fires and looting had destroyed $1 billion worth of property. (AP Photo/John Gaps III)

 

Spray-painted slogans on the wall of a small building in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 30, 1992 are indicative of the community's frustration over the acquittal of four police officers  in the Rodney King beating trial. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)

 

Steven Lerman, attorney for Rodney King, displays a photo of his client during a press conference at his office in Beverly Hills, California, Friday, March 8, 1991. King's doctor outlined the extent of man's injuries for reporters during the meeting. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

 

A Korean shopping mall burns at Thrid Street and Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles Thursday, April 30, 1992 on the second day of rioting in the city following the Rodney King assault. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

 

Stacey Koon, left, and his attorney Ira Salzman, both wearing gag glasses, arrive at Los Angeles federal court on Wednesday, April 14, 1993 where jurors will begin their fifth day of deliberations in the Rodney King civil rights case. (AP Photo/Bob Galbraith)

 

Patricia Moore, second from left, J.D. Rosborough, second from right and Sandy Martinez, right, react with anger and tears at the acquittal of four Los Angeles police officers in the Rodney King assault case in Simi Valley, California on Wednesday, April 30, 1992. All officers were found not guilty with the exception of one charge against Laurence Powell in which the jury was undecided. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

 

Rodney King makes a point at a news conference in Santa Ana, Calif., June 2, 1994. Jurors who earlier ordered the city of Los Angeles to pay King $3.8 million for his beating declined to order punitive damages against any of the police officers involved in the March 1991 video taped beating. King's attorney Milton Grimes looks on second from right. (AP Photo/Chris Martinez)


Text from the AP news story, Rodney King riot: Timeline of key events

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