When the video of Los Angeles police officers beating Rodney G. King shocked the world 25 years ago, the baton quickly became a symbol of law enforcement abuse, reports the Associated Press.
Back then, the 2-foot solid piece of aluminum was an essential tool in the police officer's arsenal. In 1990, Los Angeles police officers used their batons 741 times during force incidents, more than any other weapon.
But the infamous video marked the beginning of the end for the baton's reign. By 2015, LAPD officers used their batons just 54 times.
The baton offers a dramatic example of how police behavior has changed since the King beating. Authorities said that officers stopped using them for a variety of reasons: Changes in rules and training and the rise of other types of less-lethal weapons, as well as the lasting stigma from those grainy images.