Celena Morrison’s arrest video shows that 33 years after Rodney King, the police are still terrible


On March 3, 1991, the most infamous police brutality video of all time came into existence.

That night, LAPD officers Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind, Theodore Briseno, and Stacey Koon pulled over 25-year-old unarmed Black motorist Rodney King and viciously beat him. The beating was caught on the now historical video captured by concerned citizen George Holliday, who watched the beating from the window of his apartment across the street and began filming. 

The officers punched, kicked and beat King with their batons while using their tasers on him repeatedly. They claimed King was resisting arrest, but from what we can see in the video and from what several eyewitnesses said, he did not resist.

Those officers had no idea they were being recorded, and it shows in the apparent glee and zest they take in beating him in that video. 

It wasn’t the first time police officers had used excessive force against an unarmed Black person; comedy legend Richard Pryor regularly spoke about police brutality against Black people in his bits, and much like the acquittal of the officers accused of beating Rodney King in 1992 led to an uprising in the neighborhoods of South Central Los Angeles, the 1965 Watts Rebellion started because of the tense arrest of a Black man accused of drunk driving by a white California Highway Patrol officer. 

The names and the faces change, but the story remains the same. The police are egregiously violent and seem to escalate situations involving Black citizens simply because they can. 

Celena Morrison, the executive director of the Office of LGBT Affairs for the city of Philadelphia, was arrested Saturday morning along with her husband Darius McLean after a heated confrontation with a Pennsylvania State Trooper during a traffic stop along a busy highway in Philadelphia. 

Celena Morrison’s arrest video shows that 33 years after Rodney King, the police are still terrible