The man who recorded the grainy video of four white Los Angeles police officers beating Rodney King in 1991 has died from complications of COVID-19.
George Holliday, who captured that infamous incident, died at a Los Angeles hospital on Sunday after being there for nearly a month, a friend said on Monday, according to The Associated Press.
Holliday reportedly contracted pneumonia and was placed on a ventilator in recent days. He was not vaccinated against the coronavirus, the AP noted.
On March 3, 1991, Holliday was awakened from his sleep when he heard the commotion of a nearby traffic stop. He then proceeded to record officers kicking, punching and using a stun gun on King.
The nearly nine minutes of footage Holliday recorded that night became key evidence against those officers a year later in their widely publicized criminal trial over the use of excessive force.
When all four officers were acquitted in April 29, 1992, the city of Los Angeles erupted in chaos, sparking days of riots.
King made a plea on TV for the city to return to calm on the third day of riots, asking, “Can we all get along?”
He went on to sue Los Angeles in 1994 and was awarded $3.8 million. He later told the AP that most of the money was lost due to bad investments.
He died in 2012 at the age of 47 after drowning in his backyard swimming pool.
TMZ first reported Holliday's death.
The plumber placed the camcorder he used to record the beating up for auction last July for $225,000. Though it is unclear if it ever sold, Holliday said that he never profited from the video, the AP reported.
He also recalled to The New York Times last year that he grabbed his video camera by instinct.
“You know how it is when you have a new piece of technology,” he told the Times. “You film anything and everything.”