*Rodney King’s daughter Lora King was seven years old when her father was brutally beaten by members of the Los Angeles police department. She was eating breakfast when footage of the March 1991 incident was released on the news showing officers kicking and hitting her unarmed father dozens of times with batons.
The incident gave Lora nightmares for years. All of the offices involved were acquitted. The aftermath sparked one of the biggest race riots in the history of Los Angeles. It lasted three days — sparking an array of fires, and left 55 people dead and over 20,000 people injured.
As the violence and loitering took over the city, Rodney King pleaded on TV, “Can’t we all just get along?”
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Lora, now 32, and an administrative assistant at an accounting firm, stood shoulder to shoulder with about a dozen LAPD officers last Thursday. She joined them for a talk to young people who have had their own dealings with police. Lora is now at a place of peace, and she’s spreading the message that hate is no way to resolve issues. She took her message to the Los Angeles Conservation Corps, an organization that provides youth with job training, education and work.
“It’s more important to build bridges with officers than to stand against them. That’s actually what my dad stood for, so I’m following his footsteps,” King expressed.
Lora says her father had no hatred in his heart for police, but she also stressed the importance of officers listening to the community, and the community keeping an open mind.
“He had no hatred in his heart for police,” King said ahead of her talk with nearly 50 young adults at the Los Angeles Conservation Corps.
“It is hard to trust,” she said. “But it’s not going to get anything resolved by hating.”
Rodney King died at the age of 47 after he accidentally drowned in 2012.