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Originally published April 25, 2012 at 6:59 PM | Page modified April 26, 2012 at 6:13 AM

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Major players in the L.A. riots


Daryl Gates: police chief for 14 years but soon forced to resign; pioneered such innovations as SWAT units and DARE anti-drug programs, but also polarizing over perceived racism and remarks such as one he made that blacks were more likely to die when placed in police chokeholds because their arteries did not reopen as quickly as those of "normal people"; died of cancer in 2010 at age 83

Reginald Denny: white truck driver pulled by several black men from his cab and nearly beaten to death; underwent several operations to repair his shattered head, put an eye back into its socket and reset his jaw; publicly forgave his attackers; now lives quietly in Arizona

George Holliday: A plumber, his video caught four officers beating and kicking Rodney King, leading to worldwide outrage and criminal charges against the officers

Rodney King: the central figure whose beating on the night of March 3, 1991, triggered the riot a year later when the officers involved were acquitted

Henry Keith "Keekee" Watson: one of the men who attacked Denny; convicted of misdemeanor assault and sentenced to time served for the 17 months he spent in jail awaiting trial; apologized to Denny and now is the owner of a limousine business

Damian "Football" Williams: smashed Denny in the back of the head with a brick; convicted of mayhem, assault and other charges and sentenced to 10 years in prison; later convicted of 2000 murder of a drug dealer and sentenced to 46 years to life in prison, where he remains

Antoine Miller: convicted of robbing Denny and sentenced to 27 months of probation; shot to death in a Hollywood nightclub in 2005

Gary Williams: pleaded guilty to beating and attempting to rob Denny; sentenced to three years in prison

Soon Ja Du: Korean grocer who killed a 15-year-old black girl two weeks after King's beating in a dispute over a bottle of orange juice; convicted of manslaughter but sentenced to probation and community service, which some in the black community still say played almost as big a role in the riots as King's beating; still lives in L.A.

Bobby Green: black truck driver who saw the televised attack on Denny and quickly headed to the scene; helped push Denny back into his truck's cab and drove him to the hospital, saving his life; testified against the attackers, despite threats and insults; now lives with his family in an L.A. suburb

Stacey Koon: police sergeant in charge when King was beaten; in his book, "Presumed Guilty: The Tragedy of the Rodney King Affair," blamed riots on the media and city officials; acquitted of criminal charges but convicted of violating King's civil rights and sentenced to 30 months in prison; now lives in an L.A. suburb

Laurence Powell: videotaped hitting King more than 40 times; convicted of violating King's civil rights and sentenced to 30 months in prison; now lives in San Diego area

Timothy Wind: highly regarded rookie cop until videotaped using his baton on King; acquitted of all charges but fired by LAPD; eventually enrolled in law school and lives in Midwest

Theodore Briseno: officer who stomped on King's back (he claimed to keep him on the ground so the beating would stop); acquitted of all charges; broke ranks with fellow officers and sharply criticized their actions; now lives in Midwest

The Associated Press

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