03/03/2011 11:31 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Rodney King Anniversary: 20 Years Later, LAPD Adjusts To Life In The Youtube Age

It was shortly after midnight, 20 years ago Thursday, when George Holliday awoke to the sounds of police sirens outside his Lake View Terrace apartment. Grabbing his clunky Sony Handycam, he stepped out on his balcony and changed the Los Angeles Police Department forever.

The nine minutes of grainy video footage he captured of Los Angeles police beating Rodney King helped to spur dramatic reforms in a department that many felt operated with impunity. The video played a central role in the criminal trial of four officers, whose not-guilty verdicts in 1992 triggered days of rioting in Los Angeles in which more than 50 people died.