Rodney King told VH1 a month before he died that he was happy to see a black president win office, and that he believed the beating he suffered helped lead to Barack Obama's election.
The network released an extended never-before-seen interview with King on Tuesday that was recorded to mark the 20-year anniversary of the riots. In the interview, he talked about his own struggle, Trayvon Martin's shooting, and Obama's election in 2009. He said he believed the United States was "coming to its senses" in terms of race relations.
Also read: Rodney King Dead at 47
"I always knew we’d have a Black president, but if I didn’t suffer what I suffered and went through, I don’t think we would have had him that soon,” King told VH1's "Big Morning Buzz Live."
"I’m happy to have been living in this day and time and to have survived that beating, and then to see a black President in office," he added.
VH1 will honor King, found dead in his swimming pool Sunday, by re-airing its documentary "Uprising: Hip Hop and the L.A. Riots," the network said. "Uprising," executive produced and narrated by Snoop Dogg and directed by Mark Ford, will air Wednesday on VH1 at 8/7c.
It chronicles the role of hip-hop in the 1992 riots, which broke out when three of the four officers accused of brutally beating King were acquitted in his beating. (Jurors didn't reach a decision on the fourth officer.)
King later sued the city of Los Angeles and was awarded $3.8 million in damages.
Watch the interview: