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

Compiled by 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.

APRIL 8: Gates is temporarily reinstated by a Superior Court judge.

APRIL 9: Bradley declares a truce with Gates just prior to his 16-day trade mission to the Far East.

* Police Documents show police investigators searched the lockers of the four officers charged with assault, looking for traces of blood.

* About 10 rookie police officers begin testifying before grand jury.

* Michael Yamaki, a criminal defense attorney, is appointed to fill fifth and final seat on Police Commission.

* The Christopher Commission meets for the first time, promising a top-to-bottom probe of every aspect of the Police Department.


* Gates returns to work after a five-day forced leave of absence.

APRIL 11: President of the Police Protective League, which represents the city’s 8,100 officers, wants the union to throw its clout and $1.5-million war chest behind a proposed effort to recall the mayor.

APRIL 15: Paul Jefferson, a black police captain, replaces Capt. John Mutz, a white captain in charge of patrol officers at the Foothill Division.

APRIL 16: A state Court of Appeal denies a petition by the Police Commission to place Gates back on paid leave.

APRIL 17: Los Angeles Police Protective League’s Board of Directors votes unanimously against backing a proposed recall of the mayor.

APRIL 18: The two passengers in King’s car appear on “Donahue” saying they believe officers had decided to brutalize King before auto was stopped.

APRIL 22: California Highway Patrol lieutenant is recommended for demotion and a captain and sergeant face suspensions without pay for failing to investigate the King beating quickly enough.

* Attorneys for the four police officers ask a judge to delay the trial and move it elsewhere.

APRIL 24: The Christopher Commission requests more than 1 million pages of police documents.

* State attorney general announces insufficient evidence to file criminal charges against King in two San Fernando Valley armed robberies that occurred weeks before the beating.


APRIL 30: The Christopher Commission holds its first public hearings.

MAY MAY 1: City Council rejects Larry Drasin, Bradley’s nominee for the Civil Service Commission, as a signal to Bradley that the council will not tolerate his interfering with the city’s Civil Service system in his bid to oust Gates.

* Police Commissioner Melanie Lomax is accused of leaking confidential documents to a lawyer with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

MAY 2: Police officers receive a copy of a memo from Gates that emphasizes their obligation to intervene if they see another officer engaged in misconduct and to report the matter immediately to their superiors.

MAY 7: Los Angeles Police Commission President Dan Garcia resigns.

* Gates fires the rookie officer and suspends other three without pay.

MAY 10: Grand jury decides not to indict any of the 17 officers who were at the scene but did not take part in the attack.

MAY 11: King is pulled over in Santa Fe Springs, but not cited, when sheriff’s deputies decide his vehicle has illegally tinted windows, then determine that his vehicle registration has expired and he is not carrying his driver’s license.

MAY 13: A Los Angeles Superior Court judge rules that the City Council acted within its authority when it preempted the Police Commission’s move to place Gates on a 60-day leave.

MAY 14: Police Commission appeals judge’s ruling.

* Judge refuses to grant separate trials for the four indicted officers.

MAY 15: State Sen. Ed Davis, a former Los Angeles police chief, receives special permission to seek quick passage of a bill that would make it a felony for a peace officer to stand by and watch another officer use unnecessary force on a suspect.

MAY 16: Judge refuses to move trial to another county.

MAY 20: Judge denies Christopher Commission access to LAPD files.


* A comprehensive 314-page LAPD Internal Affairs report from 74 separate interviews, which yields the most complete description yet of what happened on March 3, is obtained by The Times.

MAY 22: Judge calls published confidential details in an Internal Affairs report a “distraction,” but says they will not jeopardize a fair trial. He orders a Times reporter to appear in court and disclose the source of the material.

MAY 23: Lawyers and community activists state publicly that Gates’ department uses embarrassing personal information about political natures, particularly members of the City Council, to ensure support.

MAY 28: A mock grand jury on police crime is convened by a coalition of civil rights groups and citizens who say the Christopher Commission is unlikely to bring out needed change.

* King is arrested, then released after he allegedly tries to run down an undercover vice officer after picking up a transvestite prostitute in Hollywood.

MAY 30: Police Commission appeals a Superior Court ruling that overturned the commission’s decision to place Gates on an involuntary 60-day leave.

A Times reporter refuses to disclose confidential source, which prompts the judge to impose a $1,500 fine.

* Bradley names attorney Anthony De Los Reyes to fill position on Police Commission.


JUNE 3: Eleven scholars with the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California file a brief attempting to overturn a judge’s decision to reinstate Gates.

* District attorney cites its conflict of interest and asks the state attorney general to decide whether to charge King with assault after his encounter with vice officer.


JUNE 5: Passage of Charter Amendment 5 grants the council unprecedented power over the city’s 40 commissions, including the controversy-ridden Police Commission.

JUNE 10: Judge rules that controversial remarks exchanged on squad car computers may be introduced in the trial.

JUNE 11: Christopher Commission drops bid for officers’ personnel files rather than allow a court representative to sit in on its closed-door deliberations.

JUNE 12: State appeals court postpones trial start to review defense request for a change of venue.

JUNE 18: In a surprise reversal, judge is now willing to move the officers’ trial out of Los Angeles to avoid further delays.

JUNE 19: Gates wants to head two committees of city and community representatives that would implement recommendations of the Christopher Commission.

* Judge rules trial will stay in Los Angeles unless a state appeals court rules otherwise.

JUNE 20: Christopher commissioners dismiss Gates’ proposal to head committees.

JUNE 21: State parole board decides not to charge King with a parole violation in connection with his arrest May 28.


* U.S. Justice Department convenes a closed-door, two-day meeting with 20 Los Angeles County police chiefs and 60 minority community representatives.

JUNE 22: Two-day summit meeting produces agreement to form a permanent working group to tackle issues aggravating police-minority relations.

JUNE 24: King sells option to a film company to make a movie.

JUNE 25: Police Protective League official advises officers to be less aggressive on the streets to protect their careers.

JUNE 26: Damage claim of $83 million filed by King and his wife is rejected, clearing the path to seek damages in court.

JUNE 29: Freddie Helms, a passenger with King on the night of the beating, is killed in car crash.

July 2: Police Commission orders Gates to make sweeping changes in handling misconduct allegations.