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On the death of a hapless icon and his question that had to be asked
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There was always something hapless about Rodney King. He entered the nation’s consciousness -- and its conscience -- as a shambling drunk, an unemployed black construction worker who tried to outrun L.A. police rather than be arrested for drunk driving. The result was a police beating, surreptitiously captured on video, so profoundly vicious that the chief of police himself said it made him sick.