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Man Who Filmed Rodney King Police Beating In 1991 Dies From COVID Complications

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George Holliday, the man who recorded the police attack on Rodney King in 1991, died on Sunday of complications with COVID-19. Holliday, a now 61-year old plumber, had been hospitalized in Simi Valley for over a month.

George Holliday, the man who recorded the police attack on Rodney King in 1991, died on Sunday of complications with COVID-19. Holliday, a now 61-year old plumber, had been hospitalized in Simi Valley for over a month. 

Documenting the violent attack on his Sony Handcam, Holliday captured the infamous footage that would influence a movement of civilian-police encounters with Black citizens for decades following. The nine-minute-long, hazy video of King being beaten and tazed would spark a revolution against wrongful treatment by American law-enforcement. 

According to the LA Times, Holliday said that he tried to inform the LAPD of the videotaping and to discuss what was going on, only to be hung up on by the dispatcher. The next morning he tried again, but would eventually contact KTLA-TV Channel 5. A day later the police came and confiscated the tape at KTLA’s studio, but at that point, the damage had been done.

rodney king

Rodney King – Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Copies of the video were multiplied and spread rapidly, becoming a viral sensation that would serve as an infamous, early pioneer for other civilian-police encounters for years to come.

Holliday, who recorded the events from his balcony on that March 3rd night, was confirmed dead Monday by longtime friend and fellow plumber, Robert Wollenweber. Holliday was diagnosed with pneumonia as he spent his last days on a ventilator, and was also not vaccinated.

[via]

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