Tue. Oct 20th, 2020

Rodney King camera to be auctioned

The camera used to film the beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police in 1991, a case that triggered deadly race riots, is to be auctioned this week.

Nate D Sanders Auctions in LA will take bids for the Sony Video8 Handycam on Thursday.

The police brutality against King was filmed on the camera by bystander George Holliday.

The beating left King with brain damage, but the white officers involved were acquitted a year later.

The case had a profound effect on race relations and the use of force by police in the US.

Mr Holliday’s footage of the beating, filmed from the balcony of his apartment, is considered to be the first viral video of policy brutality and an early example of citizen journalism.

The footage foreshadowed the use of mobile phones to record police abuse, as seen in the recent death of African-American George Floyd in custody.

Bidding for Mr Holliday’s camera will begin at $225,000 (£174,948), the auction house said.

“I hope this video camera inspires people to use their power to record events that they find troubling. Don’t be afraid to use it,” Mr Holliday, a self-employed plumber, told the auction house.

The camera comes with a notarised letter of authenticity by Mr Holliday.

The batteries have been removed to protect the camera, which is no longer functional but remains in good condition otherwise. The tape of King’s beating is not included.

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