June 22, 2012 1:19 AM

Commentary: Rodney King asked the question others would not

There was always something hapless about Rodney King. He entered the nation's consciousness — and its conscience — as a shambling drunk, an unemployed black construction worker who tried to outrun L.A. police rather than be arrested for drunk driving. The result was a police beating, surreptitiously captured on video, so profoundly vicious that the chief of police himself said it made him sick. In 1992, when a suburban jury, conspicuously bleached of black jurors, acquitted four white police officers of any crime, the City of Angels went to hell, erupting in one of the worst urban riots in modern American history.

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