Where are the officers who beat up Rodney King now? Tyre Nichols’ assault compared to 1991 case
Warning: This article contains a recollection of crime and can be triggering to some, readers' discretion advised.
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE: Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old FedEx driver, was allegedly fatally beaten on January 7 by five police officers of the Memphis Police Department as he purporedly was arrested for rash driving. Three days after his alleged brutal arrest, Nichols died on January 10 in the hospital.
The death of Nichols reawakened public consciousness of the 1991 assault on Rodney King. After leading the California Highway Patrol on a high-speed chase through the north Los Angeles suburbs, King (known to friends as "Glen") found himself in the spotlight, both literally and figuratively.
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Where are the officers who beat up Rodney King now?
At the time, police asked King to exit his vehicle, and he complied; nevertheless, he refused to lie face down on the ground and was subsequently tasered. Shortly after King began running away, four officers attacked him with kicks and baton blows. Stacey Koon, Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind, and Ted Briseno, were the cops involved. During the course of almost a minute, King was repeatedly struck by two of the cops and it's possible that he was hit more than 50 times. Finally transferred to the hospital, King was found to have severely brain damage in addition to damaged bones and teeth.
According to The Cinemaholics, Koon, a former sergeant of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), rose to prominence after the Rodney King beating. A Highway Patrol trooper, in 1991, saw King driving a white Hyundai Excel at speeds of above 100 miles per hour. Following this, Koon and the other cops chased King in an attempt to apprehend him. For his part in the Rodney King incident, Koon was given a 30-month prison sentence. Koon was targeted in a failed assassination attempt, in 1995, while he was out on a vacation. Koon got a job with a limousine service after he got out of jail.
Koon was arrested for drunk driving in 2018, and he eventually pled guilty to the allegations against him. He was put on three years of probation and ordered to have an alcohol interlock device placed in his car. Currently, it appears that Koon isn't active on any of the major social media platforms. Whether in connection with the Rodney King incident or in the wake of the contemporary 'Black Lives Matter' campaign, his image as a police officer who abused his authority persists.
Laurence Michael Powell
According to reports, Powell is a retired law enforcement professional who served with the Los Angeles Police Department. He was born in Los Angeles, California, on August 26, 1962. On March 3, 1991, he was one of the Los Angeles Police Department officers that participated in the beating of King.
On the videotape, Wind could be seen using his baton to strike King multiple times. Prior to the assault of King, Wind was a well-regarded rookie officer. Despite the fact that he was cleared of all accusations, he was dismissed from his position with the LAPD, and he has had a hard time putting the past behind him. In 1994, he was given a job as a community relations officer with the police department of the little Los Angeles suburb of Culver City, and he remained in that position until the year 2000, when he relocated to Indiana so that he could attend law school there. According to public documents from 2017, it appears that he currently resides in Kansas.
According to the Insider, Briseno, who allegedly stepped on King's back throughout the beating (he claimed to keep King on the ground so the beating would stop), broke ranks with his fellow cops and harshly criticized their behavior. A colleague of his reported hearing him say, shortly after King's arrest, that Koon had handled the situation poorly.
The officer who reported hearing him also cited his comments. During his criminal trial, he testified that Powell, who struck King the most, was out of control and that the beating was excessive. He claimed that Powell had struck King an excessive number of times. He was found not guilty of all charges, but despite this, he was terminated from his position with the LAPD, and he had difficulty finding work after this. He has settled down in Illinois for the time being.