Stacey Koon

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Stacey Koon
Born (1950-11-23) November 23, 1950 (age 68)[1][2]
Police career
CountryUnited States
DepartmentLos Angeles Police Department
Service yearsUnited States Air Force: 1971–1974
Los Angeles Police Department: 1976–1992
RankSworn in as an Officer: 1976
LAPD Police Officer-3.jpg Police Officer 3: 1978
LAPD Sergeant-1.jpg Sergeant I: 1982
AwardsLos Angeles Police Department Medal of Valor ribbon.svg LAPD Medal of Valor
100+ commendations[3]
Other workConvicted in connection to the Rodney King beating

Stacey Cornell Koon (born November 23, 1950) is a former sergeant with the Los Angeles Police Department who became nationally notorious in the wake of the Rodney King incident.

Rodney King incident[edit]

On March 3, 1991, in Los Angeles, a high-speed chase was initiated by California Highway Patrol officer Melanie Singer after motorist Rodney King was observed behind the wheel of a 1988 white Hyundai Excel traveling over 100 miles per hour; the chase ended on the right shoulder of Foothill Boulevard. Koon and four other officers (Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind, Theodore Briseño and Rolando Solano) attempted to arrest King; the officers stated that King resisted arrest and Officers Powell, Wind and Briseño had to use force to subdue him. The incident was videotaped by a nearby resident, George Holliday, who sold it to local TV station KTLA; the station aired parts of the video and CNN aired it the next day. The police officers were tried for the use of excessive force in state court in Simi Valley in 1992 and acquitted on April 29 that year. Later the same day the 1992 Los Angeles riots erupted, which went on to claim the lives of sixty-three people. In 1993, the four officers were tried in a federal court in Los Angeles; Koon and Powell were convicted of violating King's civil rights and sentenced to 30 months in prison.

In his 1992 book, Presumed Guilty: The Tragedy of the Rodney King Affair, Koon defended his actions and blamed the riots on the media and community leaders,[4] he appeared as a guest on A Closer Look with Faith Daniels on October 24, 1992.[5]

The sentencing of Powell and Koon was appealed to the United States Supreme Court on the issue of whether the district court properly applied departures from the Federal Sentencing Guidelines when it granted two downward departures to 30 months from section 242 of the sentencing guidelines, in Koon v. United States, 518 US 81 (1996).

In November 1995, a gunman, 35-year old Randall Tolbert, entered the halfway house and demanded to know where Koon was. Koon was on a holiday pass at the time; the gunman took three hostages, one of whom was 67-year old Karl Milam. After fatally shooting Milam, Tolbert was shot and killed by the sheriff's SWAT team during a shootout.[6][7] [8]

Koon eventually moved to Castaic, north of Los Angeles.[7] In 2012, he began working as a chauffeur in Los Angeles for the limousine company Music Express where his patrons have included notable people such as former vice president Al Gore and actor and political commentator D. L. Hughley.[9][10]

Both Koon and fellow LAPD officer Laurence Powell have been used as symbols of racism in hip hop and related music, he is referenced by rap metal band Rage Against the Machine in their song "Vietnow", from their 1996 album, Evil Empire.[11] He is also mentioned in the Ice Cube song "Really Doe" from his 1993 album Lethal Injection. Koon was also namechecked in The Simpsons episode "Sideshow Bob Roberts" by conservative commentator Birch Barlow as an example of someone "railroaded by our liberal justice system." He was parodied twice in 1993 by Jim Carrey on the American sketch comedy television series In Living Color. In 2018, Koon was arrested for driving under the influence in Santa Clarita, California. [12]


Koon has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in criminal justice from California State University in Los Angeles, and a master's degree in public administration from the University of Southern California.[13]


  1. ^ "NewsLibrary Search Results". Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  2. ^ Joshi, S.T. (1999). Documents of American Prejudice: An Anthology of Writings on Race from Thomas Jefferson to David Duke. Basic Books. ISBN 9780465016242. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  3. ^ "STACEY KOON - The L.A. Riots: 15 Years After Rodney King - TIME". Archived from the original on 2011-07-04. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  4. ^ "STACEY KOON - The L.A. Riots: 15 Years After Rodney King - TIME". April 27, 2007. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  5. ^ Connelly, Michael (October 24, 1992). "Koon Gets Hostile Response at TV Taping : King beating: South-Central residents drown out sergeant's defense of officers with shouts accusing him of racism while he tries to plug his book. - Los Angeles Times". Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  6. ^ Los Angeles Times
  7. ^ a b Time,28804,1614117_1614084_1614512,00.html#ixzz0ebcBK1G8
  8. ^ "Family Tells of Slain Gunman's Anger at Koon". 1995-11-25.
  9. ^ "Al Gore's Limo Driver Was Former LAPD Officer In Rodney King Beating Video". 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2016-11-26.
  10. ^ "May 1, 2015". Real Time with Bill Maher. Season 13. Episode 15. HBO. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  11. ^ Rage Against the Machine. Evil Empire. Epic EK 57523, 1996.
  12. ^ "Cop in Rodney King Beating, Stacey Koon, Busted for DUI".
  13. ^ Koon, Stacey C.; Robert Deitz (1992). Presumed Guilty: The Tragedy of the Rodney King Affair. Washington, D.C.: Regnery Gateway. ISBN 9780895265074. OCLC 26553041.

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