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Reginald Denny
Rodney King dies at 47; victim of brutal beating became reluctant symbol of race relations
Rodney King dies at 47; victim of brutal beating became reluctant symbol of race relations

Rodney King never set out to be a James Meredith or Rosa Parks. He was a drunk, unemployed construction worker on parole when he careened into the city's consciousness in a white Hyundai early one Sunday morning in 1991. While he was enduring the videotaped blows that would reverberate around the world, he wanted to escape to a nearby park where his father used to take him. He simply wanted to survive. PHOTOS: Rodney King | 1965- 2012 He did survive, but the brutal beating transformed the troubled man into an icon of the civil rights movement. His very name became a symbol of police abuse and racial tensions, of one of the worst urban riots in American history. More tangibly, the...

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