Op-Ed: Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson on his mayoral run — 25 years after the Rodney King beating

Barack Obama,  Al Sharpton, Valerie Jarrett, Sherrilyn Ifill, Deray McKesson,

#BlackLivesMatter activist Deray McKesson, right, in the blue vest, meets with President Barack Obama and prominent civil rights leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Feb. 18.

(Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)

On a March night 25 years ago, the helicopter and sirens woke up a Los Angeles plumber named George Holliday.  The footage he recorded on his Sony Handycam over the next nine minutes — of Rodney King being beaten by LAPD officers — is perhaps second only to the Zapruder film of the JFK assassination in its impact on public life. Today, a video camera rests in every hip-pocket smart phone, and myriad videos of cops versus black men and women have altered politics and culture. The Black Lives Matter activist and former teacher DeRay Mckesson is a child of that early viral video and the ripples it created.

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