Once Upon A Time In Los Angeles
The thunder of a helicopter was raining down almost deafening you. The sound of a taser was crackling again and again as its electricity radiated all over your body. The crack of wood hitting the pavement and then your bones pierced the thunder and crackling again and again and again and again. The thump of a shoe against your skull again and again drove you further to the ground. The lights coming at you from all sides blinded you from knowing or seeing what was coming next or happening this way or that. The voices surrounding you, screaming at you with conflicting directions fueled by hate and fear made anything you did only prolong the beating. Then finally, your body gave up. You collapsed in unimaginable pain as a swarm of strangers with guns rolled you onto your stomach and tied you like a hog after breaking 11 bones at the base of your skull, breaking your leg, and fracturing your cheekbone. The strangers with guns then finally all stopped as they walked away, momentarily leaving you completely alone tied in knots lying on the pavement. There, lying where that road meets the dirt, still all alone – you rolled your body over onto your back and were left looking up towards the stars in the sky trying to find any comfort you could.
Far away in the dark there was a forever machine no one involved knew was there, watching, because in this moment…
There was nothing else that forever machine could do.
On March 3, 1991, in Los Angeles, a high-speed chase was initiated by California Highway Patrol officer Melanie Singer after motorist Rodney King was observed behind the wheel of a 1988 white Hyundai Excel allegedly traveling at a high speed. The chase ended on the right shoulder of Foothill Boulevard. Koon and four other officers (Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind, Theodore Briseño and Rolando Solano) attempted to arrest King. The officers stated that King resisted arrest and Officers Powell, Wind and Briseño had to use force to subdue him. The incident was videotaped by a nearby resident, George Holliday, who gave it to local TV station KTLA. The station aired parts of the video and CNN aired it the next day. The police officers were tried for the use of excessive force in state court in Simi Valley in 1992 and acquitted on April 29 that year. Later the same day the 1992 Los Angeles riots erupted, which went on to claim the lives of fifty-three people. In 1993, the four officers were tried in a federal court in Los Angeles; Koon and Powell were convicted of violating King’s civil rights and sentenced to 30 months in prison.