Stacey Koon was a Los Angeles Police
Department sergeant. He is the author of Presumed Guilty: The Tragedy of the Rodney King Affair.
The San Gabriel Valley Tribune said
Presumed Guilty: The Tragedy of the Rodney King Affair is “a compelling, thoroughly documented,
well-reported story--one that challenges readers to probe deeply into their own feelings about justice, racism, violence,
police brutality, and media coverage.”
One reader of Presumed
Guilty: The Tragedy of the Rodney King Affair said, “The crux of this account is Stacey Koon's observation
that when ALL of the evidence (and not just a few seconds of videotape, punctuated by activist oratory) was lawfully presented
to a trial jury, and explained in a reasonable fashion, the jury determined that the officers were not guilty of the primary
crime with which they had been charged. Everything after that was society's emotional reaction based upon irresponsible
media inflammatory over-dosage.”
One reader of Presumed
Guilty: The Tragedy of the Rodney King Affair said, “An excellent well-written defense of the infamous
police who beat Rodney King. Koon, of course, was the Sgt. in charge at the scene, so he can hardly be considered to be an
unbiased source. He makes his case with some skill, and he is able to present himself successfully as a sympathetic character.
He points out that most of those who condemn him out of hand really have no idea what went on that night. He lays his defense
out carefully and goes point by point explaining his own thinking and his perception of what happened. Koon emphasizes his
belief that King was on PCP and his contention that if the police had been able to employ a chokehold the whole incident would
never have occurred. He also takes a few well aimed shots at his old boss, the controversial Police Chief Darrel Gates...
He also makes a deft attack on the media's evident bias against him, and ruefully points out that the media's `public
person' defense of their actions was self created since they made Koon a `public person'. He also rightly points out
that the Federal Case was double jeopardy. One need not be convinced by the argument to appreciate the importance of the book.
The picture on the back with Koon looking sorrowful and sheepish though, is a bit much.”