Rodney King Compared LAPD Beating to Abuse Suffered by Slaves

Updated at the bottom with complete audio of the show. First posted at 12:53 a.m.

KPFK (90.7 FM) says it probably has the last interview given to the press by Rodney King, who drowned June 17 in his backyard pool in Rialto.

The interview will air this morning and stream on its website at 7 a.m., according to the station.

KPFK says that, at one point in the Q&A, King compares his 1991 beating at the hands of LAPD officers to the physical abuse suffered by American slaves. He's quoted as saying:

When I think of the way I was beat within an inch of my life...it makes me think of those who went before me...who stood up...who made the way for me. I'm gonna go way back to the slaves and how they were beat....we are not where we used to be but we are definitely not where we supposed to be.

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KPFK says the interview was recorded May 10 as a reflection on the L.A. Riots, which were set off 20 years ago April 29 when the cops who beat King were acquitted in court.

The interview was intended to be the centerpiece of a one-hour special of the "Sojourner Truth" show hosted by by Margaret Prescod. Now it will instead air this morning as "Rodney King: The Last Word Uncensored."

King is also quoted as saying:

[You have to] wake up each day on a positive note and stay on it, make each day better than it was yesterday. We have to get away from hate. I want everybody to get along, do the work of getting along. I look forward to the whole world getting along.

[Update at 11:36 a.m.]: KPFK sent us the complete audio file of the broadcast:

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]


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