June 18, 2012

Rodney King - at peace, at last

Rodney King, age 47, died on June 17, 2012, in Rialto, California. He drowned in his swimming pool. 

You can't sum up a man's life in a blog post and I won't do that here. That is not the purpose of writing this. So, I'll make it short. 

Rodney King had a checkered and troubled life. He had alcohol and drug addiction problems, violence problems and problems with the law even as a youth. His life seemed to be one chaotic episode leading to another. 

In 1989, he had robbed a convenience store and subsequently served one year in prison for this offence. During his lifetime, he was arrested multiple times. He was very open about his struggles with alcohol and drugs.

On March 2, 1991, he and 2 buddies were drinking and driving and got involved in a high speed chase with the police in hot pursuit. Rodney was driving at 80 to 100 miles per hour through residential districts, putting others at risk of death. 

When he was apprehended by the Police, Rodney was savagely beaten, kicked, tasered and treated like dirt by the officers at the scene. This incident was video-taped by a bystander and the entire world viewed this savage miscarriage of justice.  Four police officers were charged over this beating. At the time of the trial, all four walked away, without a conviction.

This lack of a conviction resulted in the Los Angeles Riots of 1992, in which 55 people died, 2,000 were injured and millions of dollars of property were destroyed. 600 buildings were burned down. 

Rodney King may have been violent as a young man and troubled throughout his life, but he had moments of lucidity and compassion and honor. He was not a saint or a hero. Few men are. 

However, during the riots, he made the following statement, even as he stuttered: "Can we all get along? Can we ... can we ... get along? Can we stop making it horrible for the older people and the kids. I mean, we've got enough smog in Los Angeles, let alone to deal with setting these fires and things. It's not right. It's not right. It's not going to change anything."
God the Father, who holds us
in His hands, lead Rodney to peace

By way of this statement, Rodney attempted to stop the violence and the destruction. He tried, in his own way, to be a peacemaker. 

Let us pray that Rodney King is in Heaven and that he is with God. Let us pray that he has at last found peace and rest. Amen

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