Almost 20 years to date, the racial tension of Los Angeles boiled over when the four police officers who beat Rodney King at a traffic stop were acquitted in a jury with no Black members. The all too familiar feeling of injustice and inequality was the direct catalyst for the uprising that took place in the three days after in the City of Angels—resulting in the deaths of 55 people, injuring over 2,000, and raking up to $1 billion worth of structural damage. Without a question, it went down as one of the most violent riots in American history.
King, who was hit 50 times, kicked, and shot with tazer guns, now opens up in his new book The Riot Within: My Journey From Rebellion to Redemption. Anyone who’s followed King in these two decades since the now historical event knows he has struggled with personal demons. His drinking, specifically, has been his central problem putting him on celebrity rehab shows, but also landing him in jail and estranging him from his family. In his new book the tall, friendly, father of three talks about this journey to recovery. The reflective 47-year-old contends, "America's been good to me after I paid the price and stayed alive through it all. This part of my life is the easy part now."