Of course, there are more elements to the story in the police's defense, such as King's alleged bizarre behavior of giggling and grabbing his buttocks at the police, however most of the population reacted to this news story with horror and disgust towards the policemen's actions. In fact, the coverage of this story triggered the Los Angeles riots of 1992 which were strongly linked to civil rights issues of racism (since the cops were white and Rodney was black).
This particular story was extremely popular and was covered by all news television stations, newspapers, magazines, and radio stations because of its obvious controversial subject matter. But what makes it even more controversial and attractive to the American public is the fact that it involves police officers, who are of high ranking and are regarded as the protectors of justice, who are now being shown as the criminal. According to Surette, "the general rule is the higher the rank, the more media interest in the case. Cases involving police corruption and justice system personnel in general are especially attractive to the media" (71).
To make this story even more attractive to the public, a video of the entire incident was recorded by a witness which was broadcasted on a local TV station. Because "pictures are preferred over text" (Surette, 68) the video made audiences even more interested and gave the story a sort of sensationalism or thematic value.