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FBI Releases Files From Rodney King Beating Investigation

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Granting a “Freedom of Information Act,” request, the FBI on Wednesday released the files of its early investigation into the Rodney King beating.

Andrea Fujii reports the files — about 725 pages in all — largely contained newspaper accounts of the 1991 beating seen around the world.

The files also include accounts of the acquittal in the beating by LAPD officers and the 1992 riots that followed.

Fujii spoke to City Councilman Bernard Parks, who was LAPD’s Deputy Chief at the time of the beating and riots. He says the incidents will always be fresh in his mind.

“They play over and over again,” Parks said.

In the files, very few insights inside the hundreds of pages.

There is a notation about an officer’s re-assignment, reports Fujii. There is also a note that says, “These clippings should not be disseminated throughout the bureau.”

What is missing from the files? Any record of interviews that the bureau conducted.

The FBI would not comment further on what the files contained. But Parks believes there has to be more to them.

“Having been interviewed by the FBI, during that time, about Rodney King and the use of force and the stuff that went into that case, it was far greater than news articles,” said Parks.

Before his drowning death in 2012, King spoke to Pat Harvey about his then new book, “The Riot Within.” King told Harvey he had moved on.

“People have forgiven me for some things I have done,” he said, “I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I wasn’t able to forgive the officers.”

Parks believes the beating and subsequent riots taught the LAPD valuable lessons but that the release of the files only brings up more questions than answers.

He doesn’t believe the case will ever truly be closed.

“It is important to those who lived through it to constantly be aware of it and not repeat those mistakes,” said Parks.

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