LAPD Beating Victim Rodney King to Marry Juror Who Helped Award Him £2m in Damages

Paul Thompson, Daily Mail (London), September 9, 2010

Police brutality victim Rodney King is to marry one of the jurors who awarded him over £2m in damages for the shocking assault.

King and Cynthia Kelley first met in a pizza restaurant hours after a jury made the civil award in 1994.

But as they were both married their romance remained a secret and they eventually drifted apart.

Four months ago King, 44, called Kelley and after they began dating again asked her to marry him.

He said: ‘We hadn’t spoken to each other for many years, and it just so happened that we reconnected. It was like we were never apart from one another.

‘She is a godsend, a blessing in my life.

‘I don’t know what I would have done without her in my life. . . . I can’t wait to make her my wife.’

The $3.8m award followed the acquittal of four Los Angeles police officers who were charged with beating the black taxi driver in 1991.

The assault on King was captured on video film and he became a symbol of police brutality.

The acquittal of the four officers in 1992 led to race riots in Los Angeles that left 55 people dead and more than 2,000 injured.

King later sued the city of Los Angeles and was awarded the $3.8m in damages. Over half the money is thought to have gone on legal fees.

Kelley was the lone black on the jury and at the time spoke of how she had to fight to get King his money.

She said: ‘During deliberations, the other jurors said, “Let’s just award him $100,000, you know he’s just gonna blow it anyway.”‘

Since the infamous 1991 beating King struggled with a drug problem but after an appearance on a reality show celebrity rehab has not touched drugs or drink.

king&juror

The happy couple.

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