Rodney “can we all get along” King told CNN that he wasn’t terribly surprised when he heard that Trayvon Martin’s killer had been charged with second degree murder, but advised patience as the legal system does its thing.
“The justice system takes so long but it works and I am waiting, like the rest of us, to get to the facts and carefully, thoroughly, get to the truth without drawing conclusions,” he said Thursday. Though a lot of the facts in the case are still fuzzy, King said that he’s absolutely positive about one thing: who the screams heard on a neighbor’s 911 call belong to.
“It’s a death scream that I know very well and I have no doubt in my mind that it came from Trayvon Martin,” he said.
King’s 1991 beating by Los Angeles officers put three of the LAPD in handcuffs themselves. Three acquittals and a mistrial later, the lack of justice for King’s beating led to three days of rioting and looting in predominantly African-America neighborhoods. When the dust settled, 55 people were dead, over 2,000 were injured, and property damages exceeded $1 billion. Two officers were later convicted on federal civil rights charges and King walked away with a cool $3.8 million in damages for his trouble. April 29th will be the 2o year anniversary of the events.
“The horrifying sound of a young black male screaming for his life on a 911 call reminded me of my horrifying scream on a videotape 20 years ago,” King said. “At that time, I thought I was going to die. Very, very gratefully, I survived. Unfortunately, Trayvon Martin did not,” continuing, he reflected on his own experiences, “Twenty years after the riots, I still consider myself lucky to have survived that beating,” he said.
King has had a few run-ins with the law since primarily due to alcoholism, but all-in-all, he’s got a good heart, asking for peace and calm in the wake of the Trayvon Martin tragedy. “I am grieving, like the rest of us, for this young man and his family but let’s allow the justice system to take its course and come together as a country before and after the outcome of the case,” he said.