George Holiday, who filmed the Rodney King video, died of covid
LOS ANGELES (AP) – A friend of George Holiday, a Los Angeles plumber who shot a granular video of four white police officers beating up black motorist Rodney King in 1991, said Monday.
Holiday, a 1-year-old Holiday, died Sunday at a Los Angeles hospital, where he had been with Robert Woolenweber for more than a month, as a longtime friend and former colleague. Holiday has not been vaccinated and has been on a ventilator in recent days with pneumonia, Wolanweber said.
Holiday woke up on the night of March 3, 1991, when traffic stopped outside his San Fernando Valley home. He went out to film it with his new video camera, grabbing Los Angeles officers, kicking and using a stun gun on King, even though he was on the ground.
A year later, Holiday’s focus out of focus costing about 9 minutes was the main part of the evidence in the criminal case for the beating of four officers and excessive use of force.
When the jury acquitted all the officers on April 2, 1992, there was widespread violence in the city. Hundreds of businesses were looted and destroyed in a matter of days. The entire block of houses and shops was engulfed in flames. More than 60 people have died in shootings or other violence, mainly in South Los Angeles.
The uprising was expected to surprise the rest of the nation, but longtime residents said tensions had been building in South LM for years and the king’s outcome was just an important issue.
On the third day of the riots, King called for peace on TV and asked in a trembling voice, “Can we all come together?”
King sued Los Angeles for the beating and was paid 3. 3.8 million in 1994, but he told the Associated Press in 2012 that he lost most of that money due to bad investments. On June 17, 2012, at the age of 47, King drowned in his yard swimming pool.
Holiday’s death was first reported by TMZ.com.
Holiday dropped the Sony camcorder it used for auction last July, which started at 225,000. It was unclear when they would be sold.
Holiday told the New York Times last year that he was still working as a plumber and that the video never worked.
He said he bought the camera about a month ago and when he woke up to the sound outside his window, he easily grabbed it.
“You know what it’s like when you have new technology,” he told the Times. “You film anything and everything.”
Holiday said in 2017 that he was working on a documentary about his role in the King case, but it was unclear if anything happened to that project.