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Rodney King talks L.A. riots, new memoir

Rodney King speaks with Q's Jian Ghomeshi about the twentieth anniversary of the Los Angeles riots and his new memoir.
Rodney King poses for a portrait in Los Angeles 20 years after the acquittal of four police officers in the videotaped beating of him sparked days of rioting that spread across the city and into neighboring suburbs. (Matt Sayles/Associated Press)

Twenty years ago Tuesday, Los Angeles was shaken by some of the worst riots in its history. For days, the city burned. There were running gun-battles in the streets. By the time the violence cooled, more than 50 people were dead.

The riots were sparked when four police officers were acquitted in the beating of an unarmed black motorist. Since then, that man's name has become a household name, and a rallying cry: Rodney King.

Over the years, much has been written about him, but King is now telling his own story in his own words. He is the author of a new memoir, The Riot Within: My Journey From Rebellion To Redemption.

The book chronicles the beating, and its aftermath including King's struggles with the justice system and his own demons.

King spoke with Q's Jian Ghomeshi from Pasedena, Calif.