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LAPD Officer, Rapper Spar on Radio Talk Show About Rodney King

September 10, 1992

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ One of the white police officers facing federal civil rights charges in the beating of black motorist Rodney King debated rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot about fear, the police and the causes of the riots.

The rap star stopped by KABC on Wednesday to promote his latest recording and joined an in-progress interview with Laurance Powell, who struck the most blows against King.

Deadly rioting erupted April 29 after a jury acquitted Powell and three other officers in the beating.

″I’m not going to get into whether it was a revolution,″ Powell said. ″This was nothing but a bunch of criminals burning down the buildings in their own neighborhoods.″

Mix-A-Lot, whose real name is Anthony Ray, contended the majority of people who initially took to the streets were not criminals.

″It was frustration,″ he said. ″I think they should have gone right to Beverly Hills.″

However, the rapper, who is based in Seattle, said he didn’t condone the violence, particularly the beating of truck driver Reginald Denny.

″I think what they did to the truck driver was insane,″ he said. ″But I thought what happened to Rodney King was insane.″

Powell said he was scared during the encounter with King on March 3, 1991. He said the beating was within department policy and was caused by King’s refusal to cooperate.

″What we did was in reaction to what Rodney King did,″ Powell said. ″He was in control out there. ... I never hit him when he wasn’t resisting.″

Mix-A-Lot said blacks fear police.

″The thing we fear most is the police - understand?″ he said to Powell. ″It’s almost like you see a strong black man ... you had to beat him down.″

Mix-A-Lot’s single, ″Baby Got Back,″ went platinum this year.

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