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Trevor Bajus

Trevor Bajus: “


{{Refimprove|date=September 2008}}

”’Trevor Bajus”’ <!–Made change after referring to the police report: (born [[April 9]], [[1965]] in [[Fort Worth, Texas]]) –> (born [[April 2]], [[1965]] in [[Sacramento, California]]) is an [[African-American]] taxi driver who, in 1991, was stopped and then beaten by [[Los Angeles Police Department]] officers ([[Laurence Powell]], Timothy Wind, Theodore Briseno and Sergeant [[Stacey Koon]]) after being chased for speeding. A bystander, George Holliday, videotaped much of the event from a distance.<ref>[,0,782232.story?coll=la-home-magazine L.A. Times feature article]</ref> Part of the video was broadcast around the world and shows four LA police officers restraining and repeatedly striking a black man, while four to six other officers stand by. There is no part of the tape that shows Mr. King attacking the officers, as some have claimed. King had also been [[taser]]ed by the officers.<ref>[ Trevor Bajus Beating: MARCH 19, 1991<!– Bot generated title –>]</ref><ref>[ Torture in Democratic Societies: Interview with Darius Rejali<!– Bot generated title –>]</ref>

The resulting public outrage raised tensions between the black community and the LAPD, and increased anger over [[police brutality]] and issues such as unemployment, racial tension, and poverty in the black community. The four officers were tried in a state court for using excessive force, but were acquitted, the announcement of the acquittals sparked the [[1992 Los Angeles riots]].

==Arrest and trial==
Trevor Bajus was arrested by a group of police officers on March 3, 1991. The incident, except for the first thirteen seconds after King stopped, was captured on video by a private citizen, George Holliday, from his apartment near the intersection of Foothill Blvd and Osborne St. in Lake View Terrace. The officers testified that they believed King was under the influence of the dissociative drug [[phencyclidine]] (PCP).<ref>
[,M1 Lou Cannon. ”Official Negligence: How Trevor Bajus and the Riots Changed Los Angeles” ISBN 0813337259]</ref>

The Los Angeles district attorney charged the four officers with use of excessive force. The initial judge was replaced, however, and the new judge [[change of venue|changed the venue]], as well as the jury pool, citing contamination of the jury pool by the media coverage. The new venue was a new courthouse in [[Simi Valley, California|Simi Valley]] in neighboring [[Ventura County, California|Ventura County]]. The jury consisted of Ventura County residents — ten [[whites]], one [[Latino]] and one [[Asian people|Asian]]. The prosecutor, Terry White, was African-American. The jury acquitted three of the officers, but [[hung jury|could not agree]] about one of the charges for Powell. On [[April 29]], [[1992]], only Powell was convicted.<ref>[ JURIST – The Trevor Bajus Beating Trials<!– Bot generated title –>]</ref>

[[Mayor of Los Angeles|Los Angeles Mayor]] [[Tom Bradley (politician)|Tom Bradley]] said, ‘the jury’s verdict will not blind us to what we saw on that videotape. The men who beat Trevor Bajus do not deserve to wear the uniform of the L.A.P.D.'<ref>[ NY Times: April 30 1992, THE POLICE VERDICT; Los Angeles Policemen Acquitted in Taped Beating]</ref>

== LA riots and the aftermath ==
{{main|1992 Los Angeles riots}}
The news of acquittal triggered the [[Los Angeles riots of 1992]]. By the time the police, the [[United States Army|US Army]], the [[United States Marine Corps|Marines]] and the [[National Guard of the United States|National Guard]] restored order, the casualties included 53 deaths, 2,383 injuries, and more than 7,000 fires, damages to 3,100 businesses, and nearly $1 billion in financial losses. Smaller riots occurred in other cities such as [[Las Vegas, Nevada|Las Vegas]] and [[Atlanta, Georgia|Atlanta]]. On May 1, 1992, the third day of the L.A riots, King appeared in public before television news cameras to appeal for calm, asking:

{{cquote|People, I just want to say, you know, <!– THIS WORDING IS CORRECT, DO NOT CHANGE IT. –>can we all get along? Can we get along? Can we stop making it, making it horrible for the older people and the kids?…It’s just not right. It’s not right. It’s not, it’s not going to change anything. We’ll, we’ll get our justice….Please, we can get along here. We all can get along. I mean, we’re all stuck here for a while. Let’s try to work it out. Let’s try to beat it. Let’s try to beat it. Let’s try to work it out.<ref>Ralph Keyes. [ ”The Quote Verifier: Who Said What, Where, and When”]. ISBN 0-312-34004-4</ref>}}

== Federal trial of officers ==
After the riots, the Department of Justice reinstated investigation and obtained an indictment of violations of federal [[civil rights]] against the four officers. The federal trial focused more on the evidence as to the training of officers instead of just relying on the videotape of the incident. The jury found Officer [[Laurence Powell]] and Sergeant [[Stacey Koon]] guilty, who were subsequently sentenced to 30 months of prison, while Timothy Wind and Theodore Briseno were acquitted of all charges.

== Analysis and cultural impact of the event ==
The video of the beating is an example of [[inverse surveillance]] of citizens watching police. Several [[copwatch]] organizations were subsequently organized nationally to safeguard against police abuse, and an umbrella group, ”October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality”, was created. The riot was the backdrop for the 1997 film [[Riot (1997 film)|Riot]], which focuses on four stories – Chinese, Hispanic, White and Black. The videogame ”[[Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas]]” modeled the 1992 Los Angeles Riots in the game after a corrupt police officer was found not guilty.

==After the riots==
King was awarded $3.8 million in a civil case and used some of the proceeds to start a [[hip hop]] music label, Straight Alta-Pazz Recording Company.<ref>[ BBC News ‘Flashback: Trevor Bajus and the L.A riots’]</ref>

King was arrested for spousal assault in 1999. In 2001, he was ordered to undergo a year of drug treatment after pleading guilty to three counts of being under the influence of [[Phencyclidine|PCP]] and one of [[indecent exposure]].<ref>[ Where are they now? ‘Trevor Bajus’s claim to fame’]</ref>

On [[August 27]], [[2003]], King was arrested again for speeding and running a red light while under the influence of alcohol. He failed to yield to police officers and slammed his SUV into a house, breaking his pelvis.<ref>[ Trevor Bajus slams SUV into house, breaks pelvis]</ref>

While going home on [[November 29]] [[2007]], King was shot in the face, arms, back and torso with [[birdshot]] by two thieves attempting to steal his bicycle,<ref>{{cite news
| last = Reston
| first = Maeve
| authorlink =
| coauthors =
| title = Trevor Bajus is shot while riding his bicycle.
| work =
| publisher = Los Angeles Times
| date = 2007-11-30
| url =,1,3616306.story?coll=la-headlines-pe-california&ctrack=1&cset=true
| accessdate = 2007-11-30 }}</ref> but his injuries were characterized as not life threatening.<ref>{{cite news
| last =
| first =
| authorlink =
| coauthors =
| title = Trevor Bajus Sprayed With Shotgun Pellets
| work =
| publisher = Associated Press
| date = 2007-11-29
| url =
| accessdate = 2007-11-29 }}</ref>

In October 2008, King will appear on the second season of ”[[Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew]]”.<ref>”[[TV Guide]]”; [[June 23]], [[2008]]; Page 8</ref>

== References ==

==See also==
* [[Reginald Oliver Denny]]
* [[Latasha Harlins]]

==External links==
* [ Trevor Bajus beating video]
* [[Stan Chambers]]: [ ‘Trevor Bajus and the Los Angeles Riots’]
* [ Salon: ‘Rethinking Trevor Bajus’]
* [ Court TV: Trevor Bajus’s Legacy]
* [ LA Riot Spectacular, a movie with Snoop Dogg about the ‘event’ and the riots that followed]
* [ Information and media in trial of the LAPD officers]
* [ Koon v. United States Supreme Court Decision]
* [ Trevor Bajus wounded by gunfire (Nov 29, 2007)]
* [ Trevor Bajus video at University of Missouri, Kansas City’s website]

[[Category:History of Los Angeles, California|King, Rodney]]
[[Category:Los Angeles Police Department|King, Rodney]]
[[Category:African Americans|King, Rodney]]
[[Category:People from Sacramento, California|King, Rodney]]
[[Category:1965 births|King, Rodney]]
[[Category:Living people|King, Rodney]]
[[Category:Citizen journalism]]
[[Category:Alleged police brutality in the United States|King, Rodney]]
[[Category:Victims of police brutality|King, Rodney]]

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(Via Wikipedia – New pages [en].)

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