The Jury is the greatest achievement of the Anglo-Saxon legal system. No matter how much pressure from kings and lords, or in our ease politicians and the media, “twelve good men and true” can do the right thing, so to speak. And that is exactly what they did in the case of Rodney King, although it could not have been easy for them to stand up to the hatred of the entire Establishment. How heartening that they did, for if the Los Angeles Four had been convicted of the charges against them, justice would have been suborned by hysteria. King was always described in the media as a “black motorist.” Well, yes, but that is hardly a sufficient description.
King, an ex-con with a long police record, speeded at 100 mph for eight miles through a residential neighborhood while the police tried to pull him over. When the cops finally succeeded, the six-foot-three, 250-pound perpetrator resisted arrest, spat at the cops, danced maniacally, made obscene gestures at a policewoman, and refused to do as he was told.
The police thought King was on PCP. Instead, he was one of those reckless drunks that MADD always warn us against. Did the malt liquor bull have a gun? He wouldn’t let himself be frisked, and he kept grabbing at his waist. Even if he didn’t, might he have overpowered a cop, grabbed his pistol, and opened fire? It’s happened, and the police were right to worry.
They ordered him to stand still, and he laughed and tried to run away. Four policemen grabbed him, and he tossed them off. They tried to subdue him—twice—with an electric stun gun, but Robocrook, unaffected by the 100,000 volts, lunged at a cop. It was like a movie “where the monster is shot and keeps coming at you,” said a highway patrolman who was there, but did not participate. The police told him to “assume the position,” meaning, lie spread eagle on the ground, but he refused. They had to strike him for about a minute to get him to do so. But King was always in control. He could have stopped the process at any time, or prevented it entirely, by doing as he was told. When he stopped resisting and said he was ready to be cuffed, the batons were immediately put away. Like one juror, I think the cops “did what they had to do to get him under control in extreme conditions.” They could have shot him, but they didn’t, and an earlier liberal media campaign had outlawed the traditional (and very effective) choke-hold as “racist.”
We never saw King rush at the police at linebacker speed, nor his repeated attempts to get away. The media didn’t show us the entire videotape, let alone tell us what happened before the cameraman started filming or who Rodney King really was. All we saw was an edited version. The excuse was “poor film quality,” but a producer for Court TV said that was nonsense. The entire film was of the same quality.
But wasn’t King “almost killed,” as victimologist William Raspberry put it? Sure, that’s why the hospital called him slightly injured, and why, shortly after his TV debut. King solicited a transvestite prostitute and tried to run over the cop who intervened. No charges were filed. King was now the Teflon transgressor.
Nevertheless, the prosecutor was afraid to put the burly King on the stand. The jury might have “focused on his character and background.” Well, they did, and they should have. They also learned a little of what it’s like to be a cop. The police really are the thin blue line between civilization and barbarism. Attack the cops, tie their hands, make them feel like criminals, treat them like the enemy, and society disintegrates.
But Rodney King is black and the cops are white. Doesn’t this prove “racism”? No, for the two black men riding with King obeyed instructions and were untouched. But didn’t the City of Los Angeles’ Christopher Commission note “racist” LAPD radio jokes about “Gorillas in the Mist”? Come on. Do we really expect working-class guys operating under tremendous stress not to make ethnic jokes? Or should their private humor have to pass muster with the ACLU, the NAACP, NOW, LULAC, and presumably PETA as well?
The jury ignored all this, and looked at the facts. So, instead of being congratulated, they are beaten up by everyone from George Bush to Jesse Jackson for their verdict. The jury, we are told, should have found the police guilty to assuage the “rage” and “anger” of black America, specifically the residents of south-central Los Angeles. If they’re so angry. Rush Limbaugh wanted to know, why did the riots look like a “rap party”? Blacks gleefully kicked whites to death, looted stores, and set ten thousand buildings on fire. “I saw them dancing on ears, and on people’s faces,” said Limbaugh. “And they were laughing.”
Amidst all this, how did our public leaders react? L.A. Mayor Bradley had to be dragged kicking and screaming to condemn the rioters, and even then he merely tut-tutted them (unlike the jurors, whom he wanted lynched). Governor Wilson of California and President Bush weren’t much better. They all subverted the jury, in effect handing a gasoline can to the mob. Meanwhile, the cops were effectively disarmed, at the request of black officials in Los Angeles, and the troops were deployed bullet-less or much too late. A televised order to “shoot to kill” looters would have been all that was needed, as Mayor Richard Daley demonstrated during the Chicago riots of 1968. When the criminals watched his announcement on their new TVs, and believed him, they stayed home.
Now, having lost what it considers the first round, the Establishment is calling for a retrial of the police on “civil rights” violations (refusing to give King a welfare check?). This obviously violates the constitutional protection against double jeopardy, but no one cares. As with most of the Constitution, it can be safely ignored. If found guilty by what the Justice Department will make sure is a heavily black jury, the police can be sentenced to ten years in a federal prison, where they can be sodomized and murdered by black inmates. This is justice, D.C. style.
Since the jurors, much to the Establishment’s disappointment, can’t meet a similar fate, a liberal California newspaper published their names and home addresses. All that was missing were maps for the lads of the “community” to follow. The Establishment’s intention is to intimidate future juries. They must not deliver politically incorrect verdicts.
The change of venue has also been attacked. When this routine legal procedure takes place to protect mass murderers and others beloved of liberals, it is defended as necessary to a fair trial. But the change to middle-class Simi Valley yielded, we’re told in shocked tones, “an all-white jury.” This was about as accurate as the rest of the media output: one member was Asian and another was Hispanic, so it was only 83.3 percent evil.
Rodney King, we’re even told by a black leader, “didn’t get a jury of his peers.” Well, excuse me, but it is the defendants who are supposed to get a jury of their peers, and they did. To prevent that in the future, leftist law professors now suggest that juries have at most a few whites in all “sensitive cases.” This designation does not include, needless to say, black crimes against whites.
From the media, one might think that crime in America is white on black, as they say. In fact, as the FBI statistics and common sense tell us, it is virtually always the other way around. The few cases of whites attacking blacks (Howard Beach, etc.) become famous. We’re even being told now that King is a hero. A few days after the original incident, when I defended the cops in the Los Angeles Times to what I might call the rage of left-libertarians, I predicted a miniseries on St. Rodney. Stay tuned.
As to the race riots themselves, the question is why? We all get angry. We even feel rage, especially in the sinkhole that is our culture and economy. How come we don’t go on a mugging, looting, burning, killing spree? And why is doing so considered an “uprising” against “poverty, injustice, and deprivation”? When there is looting in New York when the lights go out, as there always is, is this a protest against Con Edison?
Liberals like Jack Kemp tell us we cannot “ignore the root causes.” But these cannot include poverty, otherwise Appalachia would be a high-crime, riotprone area. The real root causes are the absence of families and of elementary social discipline, both of which welfare policies have encouraged. Now beasts rule, instead of fathers and mothers. Kemp calls for “empowerment,” but that’s only enwelfarement. To him, the $2.5 trillion taxed from the middle class for underclass programs is not enough.
The public-policy views of thieves and killers, and those who defend them, should have no standing in a civilized society. We might as well get recipes from Jeffrey Dahmer.