King, whose videotaped beating by police was seen all around the world, is now an author.
In his new autobiography, "The Riot Within," King says that his biggest regret is not pulling over that night in 1991, before his confrontation with the LAPD.
"I would have pulled over," he said in an interview with KTLA's Eric Spillman. "I would have just pulled over and got the ticket."
"I had a job to go to that following Monday, and I knew that I'd been drinking and was on parole, and I thought I could get away," King explained.
King says that during the beating that followed, he did not resist. Instead, he says he was just trying to stay alive.
"When I heard the words, 'N****r run, we're gonna kill you, n****r run'... You know, here in a street fight that's to the death," King said.
"I knew life was just a matter of seconds of me dying, so I've gotta try and cover up what I can... Keep my hands above my brain and just scream as loud as I could and as long as I could."
A year later, in April of 1992, King watched on TV as a jury acquitted the four police officers and riots broke out.
King says he was shocked to see the violence, but he was not surprised by the jury's verdict that led to the rioting.
"My case was so strong and so believable, they had to turn that thing around and make it seem like I was being combative and I was resisting arrest," King said.
"There was no other direction that they could have took because it was so clear as day that they had almost took my life."
The mayhem that followed the verdict resulted in 56 deaths, thousands of people hurt and hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage.
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In his book, King reveals that on the night the riots started, he put on a disguise and drove into South L.A. to see the burning and looting with his own eyes.
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"I put on my reggae hat and braids and started out," King recalled.
"It was just too rough for me," he said. "I'm a tough guy, but that was a war zone out there. In our own backyard, we had a war zone."
King also reveals that, on that first night of rioting, a cousin brought over a pickup truck loaded with liquor and electronics that had been looted from stores.
"They were saying, 'This is for you man. We did this for you,'" King said.
"I'm like, I can't take it. I cannot take that. This is not what I expected."
King says he watched the rioting on TV for several days. He says he felt vindication at first, and then sadness and guilt.
He decided to go in front of the cameras after a phone call from his lawyer.
"He gave me a sheet of paper to read off of, and I wouldn't be able to read all that stuff that they had written down," King recounted.
"So I spoke what was from my heart, you know, 'Can't we all just get along?'" King said, recalling his now famous words.
"That's right off the top of my head -- 'Can't we all just get along?' After I'm dead and gone, it's a good thing for people to remember me by."
Since he spoke those words 20 years ago, King has been arrested 11 times for domestic violence, assault, drug use and, repeatedly, for DUI."
"I drink. I know the alcoholic gene runs in my family," King admitted.
But he says he's working hard to stay sober, and he has a new fiancee.
Cynthia Kelly served on the civil jury that awarded King $3.8 million in 1994.
They met afterward and then reconnected two years ago.
"We started talking and, you know, just one thing led to another," Cynthia said.
"Two days later I was like, 'Well, it was cool to see you again, I'm about to go home,' and he was like, 'Nuh-uh, you're about to be my girlfriend!'"
King says a lot of people are curious about how much money he ended up with from that civil case.
He claims that, after the lawyers got their cuts, he received about $1.6 or $1.7 million.