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The Rodney King Case Chronology : The police beating of King has triggered the following events: : MARCH

July 10, 1991|Times researcher Cecilia Rasmussen


March 3: Los Angeles Police offiers from the Foothill Division pull over 25-year-old unemployed construction worker Rodney G. King at 12:30 a.m., after he allegedly leads them on a high speed chase that ends at Lake View Terrace. A bystander captures on videotape police officers beating King.

March 4: The bystander, Lake View Terrace resident George Holliday, sells homemade video to KTLA for $500.

March 6: Police Chief Daryl F. Gates apologizes for the beating of King, but calls it an "aberration," prompting scattered calls for the chief's resignation.

March 7: King shows bruises, gives his version of beating and is freed after district attorney's office announces that there is not enough evidence to file criminal charges.

Gates' recommends felony prosecution for three officers who participated in beating and promises to discipline a sergeant and as many as 11 other officers who watched.

March 8: District attorney's office calls for a grand jury investigation.

March 9: Several hundred people rally at Parker Center to demand Gates' resignation and the dismissal of 15 police officers involved in the beating.

March 11: The Los Angeles County grand jury begins hearing testimony from three witnesses.


March 12: Mayor Tom Bradley asks the City Council to put before the voters a City Charter amendment proposing that the chief and all other department managers be subject to a performance review and possible dismissal every five years.

Bradley unintentionally signs a measure that would give the Los Angeles City Council greater authority over the boards and commissions that he appoints. The top-ranking police officer in the San Fernando Valley, Cmdr. Jim Jones is reasigned----part of a reshuffling in which two deputy chiefs and another commander are transfered.

March 13: John Bray, a black college student who said he and some friends were roughed up and insulted by Foothill Division police officer is subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury.


March 15: The Los Angeles County grand jury indicts four police officers on five-counts of felony charges.

March 18: Four pages of transcripts of patrol car computer messages are made public.

March 19: Internal police documents disclose beating was downplayed, claiming King suffered only cuts and bruises "of a minor nature."

March 20: Returing from a business trip to Hawaii, Bradley tells reporters that "the only way" for the Police Department to recover from the controversy is for Gates "to remove himself" from the job.

The U.S. Justice Department considers evidence from about 100 civil lawsuits filed against Los Angeles police as part of a nationwide look at 15,000 lawsuits.

March 21: Los Angeles police officials say blood and urine samples taken after the beating show King was legally drunk.

March 22: Transcripts of grand jury testimony show police officers flippantly remarked in the hospital to King that "we played a good game of hardball" and "we hit quite a few home runs" after he was struck repeatedly with batons.

March 25: FBI agents begin visiting the homes of 246 officers who work out of the Foothill Division to learn if there is a pattern of civil rights abuses.

March 26: King and his wife file claims totaling $83 million against the city. The Foothill stations holds open house with coffee and cookies in an effort to repair its image.

The four police officers pleaded not guilty. Dozens of colleagues refused to be questioned by FBI agents about possible civil rights abuse pattern.

MARCH 27: The state attorney general's office is asked to investigate whether King committed an armed robbery 10 days before he was beaten.

* Gates asks retired state Supreme Court Justice John A. Arguelles to chair a five-member panel that will examine excessive-force incidents and recommend reforms of LAPD policies.

MARCH 28: Records show $11.3 million was paid by the city of Los Angeles in 1990 to resolve police abuse cases.


MARCH 30: Bradley appoints former Deputy Secretary of State Warren Christopher chairman of a seven-member citizen commission to conduct a broad inquiry into Police Department practices and procedures.


APRIL 2: More than a dozen police officers, none of them involved in the beting, transfer from the Foothill Division in an effort to restore public confidence.

* In a live televised address, Bradley says he asked Gates to resign, but Gates refuses.

APRIL 3: The Police Commission holds a closed-door meeting to discuss what to do with Gates.


APRIL 4: Police Commission places Gates on paid 60-day leave and Gates pledges to appeal commission action.

* City Council members denounce Bradley and his Police Commission appointees for hastily removing the chief from office.

* Christopher and Arguelles commissions merge into a single independent commission.

APRIL 5: City Council orders the reinstatement of Gates, and the chief agrees not to sue the city for monetary damages.

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