The Abraham Zapruder of the Rodney King Video

Kara Kovalchik

Shortly after midnight on March 3, 1991, plumbing company manager George Holliday was awakened by the sound of police sirens screaming outside of his Lake View Terrace apartment building. He peeked out the window and saw some sort of commotion going on across the street. He grabbed his new Sony Handycam and stepped out onto his second-floor balcony and shot a video that would change Los Angeles forever.

There was no YouTube or other instant outlet for his footage at that time. A friend encouraged him to approach a local TV station, and KTLA-TV Channel 5 paid him $500 for the rights. During the trial of the LA police officers, it would emerge that several minutes had been cut from the beginning of the tape before it was broadcast. KTLA's reasoning was that the footage was too grainy. However, the entire unedited tape was shown to jurors during the trial and is believed to have swayed their "not guilty" verdict.

According to the Associated Press, Holliday is working on a documentary about his famous video and the events that followed.