WARNING: This footage contains material that some viewers may find disturbing due to explicit language and/or graphic material.
(NECN/CNN/Department of Justice) - From obscurity to a worldwide symbol of police brutality. Twenty years ago, California's Rodney King went from being an unknown to a household name. What's it like to be the man, whose beating, seen around the world, ignited one of the worst race riots in U.S. history? Rodney King relives that fateful night, step by step, with Don Lemon.
Don Lemon: Do you still have nightmares?
Rodney King: Yeah. Yeah, I -- I do.
Don Lemon: What's the nightmare? Do you wake up?
Rodney King: Tossin' and turnin' sometimes, even hearin' the voices, you know that was going on that night, get down, get down, get you F'n n----r, those words, I'll have to wake up and-look outside, it's all green, blue.
King's nightmare begins just after midnight. He and two friends, out celebrating, head West on the 210 Freeway.
Rodney King: I had just gotten word that my old construction company, had called me to come back to work that following Monday.
But, the celebration is cut short. State Police clock King's car going 110 mph and immediately start a nearly eight-mile high-speec chase, rambling through L.A. neighborhoods.
Rodney King: I was doing 100. I did every bit of 100. And, I'm not proud of it.
Following the interview, King agreed to relive those terrifying moments by going back to the scene.
King: I exit here on Paxton.
Lemon: Where did you pull over?
King: I seen all those apartments over there so I said, "I'm gonna stop right there. If it goes down somebody will see it."
Once he stops, they are surrounded by police. King's two friends are arrested without incident, but King would have a much different fate.
King: When I opened the door, she said take 3 steps back away from the car, which I did that, I took three steps back. When I took the three steps back said lay down, so when I laid down I laid down like this; and my face was facing this way so I could see them, and then said no put your F'in head down, face down; when I finally faced down, he BAM! Took the blow, BAM! A real hard blow to the temple. When he did that I just... I went up like that, I run this way with my hands up and showed no threat and that's when I didn't know but my leg was broke.
The race riots that followed left 55 people dead and 2,000 -- and caused an estimated billion dollars of damage. King later won a multi-million dollar judgment against the city of Los Angeles.
You can see the entire King interview in the CNN's special "Race and Rage: The Beating of Rodney King." It airs Friday (March 4th) at 8 PM (Eastern).