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Rodney King to CNN: 'The nightmares and memories are still there'

March 4, 2011 |  7:54 am


Rodney King says he still has nightmares about the fateful night 20 years ago in which he was beaten by four Los Angeles police officers, an incident that helped trigger one of the worst riots in U.S. history.

"Time has passed on, but the nightmares and memories are still there," said King during an interview for the CNN news special, "Race and Rage -- The Beating of Rodney King," which premieres Friday at 8 p.m.

In the special, King revisits the street where he was beaten by four officers after they pulled him over for speeding, and traces the events of that night. The confrontation was caught on video by observer George Holliday. King said he thought "Stay alive" as he was being throttled by the officers. "I knew I had to survive this," he said.

The not-guilty verdicts in the trial of the officers involved touched off days of rioting in Los Angeles in which more than 50 people died.

In addition to tracing the events, King, in an interview with CNN anchor Don Lemon, discussed how his life was altered, and how he now spends his days. Also interviewed is Bobby Green, who rescued  Reginald Denny after the white truck driver was attacked by a mob at an intersection during the riots.

-- Greg Braxton

Photo: A scene from the beating of Rodney King on March 3, 1991, as videotaped by George Holliday from his balcony in Lake View Terrace. Credit: George Holliday