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Presumed Guilty: The Tragedy of the Rodney King Affair (edition 1992)
by Stacey Koon
Presumed Guilty: The Tragedy of the Rodney King Affair by Stacey Koon
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0895265079, Hardcover)...a compelling, thoroughly documented, well-reported story--one that challenges readers to probe deeply into their own feelings about justice, racism, violence, police brutality, and media coverage. --San Gabriel Valley Tribune
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:03 -0400)
For the first time, the entire story of the Rodney King affair is told in full detail - what happened and why, and the reasons the Simi Valley, California jury found the officers innocent on charges of using excessive force against a felony evader with a lengthening record of violent conduct. Sgt. Stacey C. Koon was the officer in charge on the night of March 3, 1991 when Rodney King led police on a 7.8 mile chase at speeds of more than 100 miles per hour. After stopping, King refused commands to submit to arrest and made threatening gestures toward the officers whose duty was to keep King from hurting himself, his two passengers, and other motorists. When LAPD officers physically tried to subdue him, he tossed four of them off his back. Then he absorbed two 50,000 volt stun-gun charges. All this happened before the now-infamous George Holliday videotape began. The first two seconds of the videotape - a part that most people have never seen - show King trying to assault another police officer. Yet for most Americans, that 82-second videotape - which was repeatedly edited to delete the portions showing Rodney King's violent behavior - is all they know about the events of March 3, 1991. It is a tragedy that resulted in the Los Angeles riots that left more than 50 people dead and some $800 million in property destroyed. Presumed Guilty is the truth. Not what was shown from an edited 82-second videotape and not what was reported each day by a media that consciously ignored certain facts and reported other facts to mold the public mind toward a verdict of guilt. Sgt. Koon's account of the night of March 3, 1991 and the days leading up to and including the trial tells about how four dedicated police officers were betrayed by the superiors they served. It also tells how the leaders of the Los Angeles Police Department and the city establishment have scurried to cover their own culpability in creating the policies that made the Rodney King affair an inevitable tragedy. Worst of all, Presumed Guilty proves that no lessons have been learned, nothing has changed. The Rodney King affair could happen again and almost certainly will happen again. That's the ultimate tragedy of the events of March 3, 1991.
(summary from another edition)
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