FONTANA, Calif. (AP) — Rodney King, whose videotaped beating by police officers sparked the deadly Los Angeles riots of 1992, was sentenced to drug treatment and jail after pleading guilty Wednesday to driving under the influence and reckless driving.
A San Bernardino County Superior Court judge sentenced King to a three-month alcohol awareness program and six months of drug treatment, then four months in jail. He must also pay a $1,454 one and will be on probation for three years.
Police said King raced through a Rialto intersection at more than 100 mph in his new SUV on April 13 before losing control of the car, striking a utility pole, crashing into a fence and hitting a house. Authorities said tests revealed he had a “significant amount” of PCP in his system.
King, 38, of Rialto, suffered a fractured pelvis and cracked ribs in the crash.
Deputy District Attorney Jim McGee said that while the treatment gives King “the opportunity to turn his life around,” he deserved jail time.
King’s attorney, Duane Dade, said treatment should help his client but maintains the sentence was “probably over and above what the regular person gets.”
King had been pulled over for speeding in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley in 1991 when he was beaten by police officers who said he acted menacingly and refused to follow their orders. A bystander videotaped four white Los Angeles officers pummeling King, who is black, with their nightsticks and feet and shooting him with stun-gun darts.
After a jury acquitted the officers in 1992, riots broke out across Los Angeles and lasted four days, leaving 55 people dead and more than 2,000 injured. The mayhem caused $1 billion in property damage.
King received a $3.8 million settlement from Los Angeles in 1994.
He had several run-ins with the law in the years that followed, including a 1999 domestic violence conviction. In 2001 he pleaded no contest to indecent exposure and being under the influence of PCP and was sentenced to a year in a drug treatment center.