Rodney King is known for being the only black man in American history to ever have been mistreated by the police.
Here is the aforementioned video, taken by some honky named George Holliday. Holliday was no Scorcese, but you'll get the idea.
In their defense, he was dressed very promiscuously.
"Please hold still sir, you are covered with scorpions!"
Probably not, but you never know.
Below are pictures of King taken before and after his close encounter with the business end of a few dozen police batons. Can you tell which one is which?
While two of the the officers involved were eventually found guilty through a federal investigation, they were initially cleared of all charges in their state trial, which Los Angeles residents expressed their distaste for by rioting furiously. The riots left 53 people dead and caused almost $1 billion in damages. In response, King pleaded for peace, delivering his now-famous "can we all get along?" speech. You know things are fucked when the voice of reason is an alcoholic felon.
King also later won a civil suit worth $3.8 million. Rather than investing wisely or donating the money to civil rights groups, King instead thought it prudent to start an absurdly-named record label (Straight Alta-Pazz Recording Company). He then presumably spent the rest on booze, as evidenced by his multiple arrests and appearances on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew and Sober House. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.