LA riots' Rodney King pleads guilty to reckless driving in deal, rather than DUI

Rodney King

Robert Sullivan/AFP/Getty Images

Rodney King, the Los Angeles motorist whose beating by police was captured on videotape, smiles during a press conference in 1992.

The man whose beating at the hands of LAPD cops 20 years ago triggered riots across Los Angeles is back in the news. Rodney King pleaded guilty on Monday to misdemeanor reckless driving near his home in Rialto.

Riverside County sheriff’s deputies arrested King last summer after he’d allegedly driven drunk down a Moreno Valley street.

In a plea deal, the Riverside County district attorney's office agreed to drop two DUI counts in exchange for a guilty plea on the lesser reckless driving charge.

Twenty-one years ago this month, King led authorities on a high-speed chase that ended in his videotaped beating by four LAPD officers.

King was on parole at the time; he’d also been drinking.

The subsequent trial and acquittal of the officers sparked a week of rioting.

King’s been in and out of trouble, including multiple drunk driving arrests, ever since. He told CNN last year that he continues to battle his demons.

“Oh, I’ll always have an issue when it comes to alcohol," he told CNN's Don Lemon. "My dad was an alcoholic. The addiction part is in my blood. What I’ve learned to do is arrest my addiction, so I don’t get arrested."

The court sentenced King to 20 days of home detention and three years probation. He was also fined $500 and ordered to complete a sobriety education program.

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