Rodney King Twenty-Year Anniversary

Thursday is the 20th anniversary of the video that captured Los Angeles police beating Rodney King.

George Holliday heard the commotion outside his apartment and grabbed his handheld camera and took video of the beating, which led to reforms in the police department.

The grainy video was a major piece of the evidence in the trial of four officers involved in the beating. The officers, however, were found not-guilty in 1992, and demonstrations in Los Angeles led to more than 50 deaths.

Police now live in a society where pictures and video can be taken by anyone in this world of 24-hour media and CNN iReports. Twenty-years ago, very few people owned handheld cameras, but Holliday was one of them.

“It was just coincidence,” Holliday told the Los Angeles Times a decade ago. “Or luck.”