Rodney King on the L.A. riots

On April 13, 2012, Rodney King poses for a portrait in Los Angeles. The acquittal of four police officers in the videotaped beating of King sparked rioting that spread across the city and into neighboring suburbs. /AP Photo/Matt Sayles

By// Miki Turner

Several hundred people filed into the Eso Won bookstore in L.A.’s historic Leimert Park district Monday to see Rodney King on the 20th anniversary of the city’s ’92 uprising. Thousands of African-Americans and Latinos hit the streets that year to protest the four LAPD officers, who were caught on tape savagely beating King, being acquitted.

But, while gatherings all over the city focused on the past, King was more interested in talking about his present during a one-on-one interview with Eso Won, L.A.’s premiere African-American owned bookstore, hosted King’s first area book signing. His book, The Riot Within, chronicles his journey from that unforgettable spring night in 1991 to the man he is today.

In addition to the book, King is also featured in tonight’s VH1 special, Uprising: Hip Hop & The L.A. Riots. The Rock Doc. It was produced by Snoop Dogg and also features commentary from Arsenio Hall, John Singleton and several of the people who were involved in or witnessed the infamous Reginald Denney beating at the corner of Florence and Normandie in South Central L.A. It airs at 9 p.m. ET.

To hear what King had to say about his life then and now, check out our video below: