Crime & Justice

LA police chief says King beating won't repeat

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck says his department has gone through sweeping reforms since the 1991 Rodney King beating, and he doesn't think his officers would engage in such a videotaped assault today.

Speaking about Thursday's 20th anniversary of the beating, Beck says the LAPD is both better respected and more effective at crime-stopping than during the Rodney King era.

King, who is black, was beaten by four white officers who a year later were acquitted of federal charges, sparking days of rioting that killed 55 people and caused widespread damage.

Since then, Beck says the LAPD has revamped its use of force, is under stricter civilian review and through community-based policing is on better terms with poor ethnic communities where officers were once viewed with suspicion.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.