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

30 years later, policing in Los Angeles is still a problem


“Both the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department have horrible reputations and track records when it comes to their interactions with the residents of the city. The sheriff’s department, in particular, is known to be filled with internal gangs that target the city’s residents of color. The county sheriff himself is currently embroiled in a scandal in which it is alleged he attempted to cover up a video of a deputy kneeling on a handcuffed inmate’s neck—a case reminiscent of the murder of George Floyd.”

30 years after the 1992 Los Angeles Rebellion, policing in the city hasn’t changed much

Today is the 30th anniversary of the Los Angeles Uprising


“In April 29, 1992, the city of Los Angeles erupted into a state of civil unrest following the not guilty verdict in the trial of the Los Angeles police officers charged with the brutal beating of Rodney King. For six days, people angry about the trial’s outcome took to the streets, businesses were looted and the city burned. While the verdict was the final straw for many, the fuse for their anger was lit years before.”

30 years after the 1992 Los Angeles uprising, not enough has changed