Wasn’t the Rodney King Tape Edited? Thoughts on Shirley Sherrod

Wasn’t the Rodney King Tape Edited? Thoughts on Shirley Sherrod


Again, normal posts will be coming soon but news is breaking so fast around the nation that one is forced to write about the Shirley Sherrod affair.

Actually, it can be discussed in just a few paragraphs. By now it should be obvious to all that an edited version of her remarks was shown (although, the members of the NAACP still clapped as she told the tale of how she righteously denied the white farmer aid) and that the full version of the tape shows a woman who has assumed the mantle of a Black Bruce Wayne – swearing to dedicate her life to avenge her father’s death at the alleged hands of white people and crusade on behalf of her people – intent on pursuing justice for Black people’s never-ending discrimination.

Speaking to the NAACP – an organization irrelevant in that its core mission has been adopted by the Federal Government – she gave a talk endorsing communism (thankfully South Carolina’s own US Senate candidate Alvin Greene has promised to take back the country from “terrorists and communists” like Sherrod if elected) and delineated Black grievances and platitudes about her ailing community, in all of its varied permutations.

Now, Sherrod wants to have the 2nd Annual, 2010 Beer Summit with Mein Obama (interestingly, close to a year after the first with Officer Crowley) and discuss race and how it was so wrong for the media to play an edited version of her speech. The White House has apologized to her for believing the story that such a sweet, kindred soul could harbor such venomous opinions and plans to offer her another position within the government.

The so-called “conservative” media is being blasted for rushing to judgment in the Sherrod case. In fact, the whole media rushed to judgment in the Sherrod case and quickly admitted the mistake, issued a mea culpa and has since brandished its awesome power denouncing anyone who dares question the dominance of Black Run America (BRA) – only white people can be racist is one of the sacred amendments governing life in BRA and Sherrod threatened to destroy this with her edited speech – and anointed her a new saint in the perpetual war on Pre-Obama America.

However, the Sherrod case shows something frightening to anyone paying attention as the media’s quick reversal of the story and admitting a longer tape existed instead of the edited version – when compared to the Rodney King tape – illustrates BRA’s tremendous power.

Remember Rodney King? An edited version of a beating he received was played continuously, inflaming righteous – albeit misplaced – anger among the Black citizens of America back in 1992. The real tape was never played in its entirety, just the edited version which showed police officers teeing off on King with an intensity usually reserved for golf balls at the range.

Indeed, riots and billions of dollars in property damage – not to mention loss of life – occurred after the police officers involved in the Rodney King were acquitted, because Black people had seen the “edited” version of the tape recycled continuously on TV.

The full version showed something else (like the Sherrod video):

Almost the entire country, along with the federal government, thought the four LAPD officers convicted of beating Rodney King were guilty of civil rights violations. But your book casts doubt on the racial motivation of the beating.

In many everyday incidents, police just move in and hit the suspect. In cases where you have white officers and a black suspect, it’s often safe to say you’ve got a racial thing. That was not the case with Rodney King. Here they chased this guy for eight miles, they had stopped him, a female California Highway Patrol officer advanced on him with her gun drawn, which in the LAPD is considered a very dangerous tactic. Sgt. Stacey Koon of the LAPD ordered the CHP officer back and he took over this arrest. He then directed four officers to jump on King. King threw them off his back. He was sweating on a cold night, it was obvious he was drunk. He pointed at the sky, he called around, he made strange noises, he waggled his buttocks at the woman officer, all of these things. They suspected he was on PCP, and they knew he was strong.

So the LAPD, at least in the beginning, acted correctly?

It’s the middle of the night. You have this guy acting very strangely. Koon did what he was supposed to do under LAPD doctrine — they fire electronic darts of 50,000 volts. If you get hit by them, you don’t get up for a very long time. King got up. They fired another volley, he gets up again. As the second volley is fired, George Holliday, this amateur cameraman, had his new camcorder that he was photographing everything with. He had been awakened by the noises, and the police helicopter and sirens. Just as Rodney King is charging toward Officer Lawrence Powell, he starts the video. This is the first three seconds of the video. It is not terribly clear, but it is obvious what King is doing. It is not clear whether he is trying to run over Powell, or whether he is trying to run by him to get to this park behind him. Neither of them knew where he was going — King was too drunk to know, and Powell was too panicked to know.

And then we get to the part that has been broadcast around the world, of Powell swinging his baton.

Yes, Powell swings his baton, not as he has been taught — in a power stroke that probably would have flattened King, and this thing would have been over — but wildly, and he hits King. The defense thought he hit him in the chest or the arm. I am convinced he hit him in the head, but Powell was just swinging. Then the next 10 seconds after this are blurred on the video. They are blurred because the cameraman moves his camera to try to get a better view of the situation.

You point out that crucial seconds of the videotape showing King violently resisting arrest were edited by a local TV news station and then beamed around the world.

Yes, and it explains why the jurors in Simi Valley, who were from a very pro-police, conservative community, ruled the way they did. They thought that the media hadn’t told them the full story, and lo and behold, we hadn’t. But in trials, if there is evidence that is damaging to your side, it’s going to come out one way or the other. So lawyers try to present it, to give their own spin on it before the other side can present it. As the King trial begins, the prosecutor, who is an African-American, Terry White, a very fine lawyer, is giving the opening statement. He is showing the jury this unedited tape. Their mouths are agape. They are saying the mental equivalent of “ah-ha.” So, in his opening statement, White has to explain away part of the tape, and to describe King as the person who was hostile. That wasn’t the only problem with the trial. King didn’t testify, the prosecution had poor witnesses, the other side had good witnesses. But the prosecution really never recovered from the videotape.

So was then-Police Chief Daryl Gates right when he called the incident an “aberration”?

Only in that it was videotaped. Injuries had been mounting before this. The year before, Los Angeles had paid out more than $11 million in damages, many of them resulting from settlements. So the city felt confident that if the King case went to trial that it would be decided in favor of the kinds of people who had been injured before by LAPD batons — whites, Latinos and blacks.

The Rodney King video was edited to elicit maximum emotional response, resulting in billions in damages and loss of life. No apology ever came, no back tracking for failing to show the full video, nor remorse from the media.

SBPDL rests the case on the awesome, unflinching power of BRA in America. Loss of life, cities under siege and terrorized by marauding gangs of Black people incensed by a heavily “edited” video that could have been easily defused had the media shown the full video is no cause for consternation.

An “edited” video of Shirley Sherrod giving a speech where NAACP members clap when she talked about denying white people full protection before the law is cause for a groveling apology from the media and the White House, despite her then endorsing communism.

Again, SBPDL hopes Alvin Greene wins the senate race in South Carolina so that the Last Action Hero can take the country back from “terrorists and communists,” before it is too late.

We live in Black Run America. There is no escape from the clutches of a system of governance that has adopted the core mission of the NAACP as its central principles and philosophy.

Somewhere, Rodney King can still be heard to utter, “Can’t we all get along?”

Though it is a disquieting answer to some, the response to his query is a resounding ‘NO’!!!

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