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Out of the Ordinary

Rodney King pleads guilty to reckless driving

Jalesa Hall

Downtown Los Angeles

Rodney King will be placed on probation and complete sobriety program for his arrest in July.

Rodney King, whose 1992 beating after the Los Angeles riots left the nation in awe, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor reckless driving on Monday.

King was arrested last summer in Moreno Valley after being suspected of driving while under the influence.

Due to a plea agreement, King received a sentence of 20 days home detention and was required to wear an ankle bracelet. Though the two counts of driving under the influence were dropped, King had to pay $500, complete a nine-month sobriety education program and landed three years probation, according to John Hall, spokesperson for the Riverside County district attorney.

King was not present during the hearing.

King was pulled over by a traffic officer, last July, around 60 miles southeast of Los Angeles. King later told CNN that he had been under the influence of  medical marijuana but not of alcohol. 

Riverside County prosecutors said that King’s blood alcohol level read a 0.06 percent, below California’s legal 0.08 limit.

Hall said, “He was driving while intoxicated and found to have a measurable amount of alcohol in his system. However, we believe we would have been unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury that his blood-alcohol content was 0.08 percent or higher.”

King’s beating by the Los Angeles police officers after a traffic stop was captured by a local resident and broadcast over the news. King was left with skull fractures and brain and kidney damage. The four officers responsible were indicted. Their trials led to three acquittals and one mistrial that would result in a three-day riot in Los Angeles.

King was on parole when the beating happened and since then has had several run-ins with the law. In 1996, he went to jail for a hit-and-run involving his wife and in 2004, he pleaded guilty to reckless driving and driving while under the influence of a controlled substance.

This past March, he was caught driving without a license.

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