Laurence Powell

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Laurence Powell
Los Angeles Police Department
Born (1962-08-26) August 26, 1962 (age 51)[1][2]
Place of birth Los Angeles, California, USA
Country Not Applicable
Years of service 1989 - 1992
Rank Sworn in as an Officer - 1989
Other work Convicted in connection to the Rodney King beating

Laurence Michael Powell (born August 26, 1962) is a former Los Angeles Police officer. He was one of the four officers involved in the beating of Rodney King on March 3, 1991.

Background[edit]

Powell graduated from Crescenta Valley High School. He enrolled in the police academy and finished near the top of his class.[3]

Rodney King incident and trial[edit]

On March 3, 1991, Powell and three other officers, Sgt. Stacey Koon, Officer Theodore Briseno, and Officer Timothy Wind were videotaped repeatedly striking Rodney King with their police batons in Lake View Terrace. Officer Powell was partnered with Officer Wind at the time.

The Los Angeles District Attorney charged the four officers with assault with a deadly weapon and use of excessive force. A year later, after a change of venue from Los Angeles to Ventura County, a jury of ten whites, one Asian and one Hispanic, acquitted the four officers of the assault charge, but deadlocked on the excessive force charge for Powell. The verdict led to the 1992 Los Angeles Riots.

The four officers were later indicted on federal charges for violating Rodney King's civil rights. Powell and Koon were convicted and were sentenced to 30 months in prison.[4]

The 1992 song "Guerillas in the Mist" by Da Lench Mob uses a sample of the phrase "gorillas in the mist" uttered by Powell. The LAPD officer had used the phrase to describe a black family in a domestic dispute that he responded to just before stopping King.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/la_riot/article/0,28804,1614117_1614084_1614517,00.html
  4. ^ http://articles.latimes.com/1996-06-14/news/mn-14959_1_sentencing-guidelines
  5. ^ Quinn, Eithne. Nuthin' but a "G" Thang: The Culture and Commerce of Gangsta Rap. New York: Columbia University Press, 2005. (See pp. 104-105.)