Rodney King dies at 47
Rodney King, who rose to fame after his brutal beating by the Los Angeles police in 1991 was caught on camera and sparked riots after the acquittal of the four officers involved, was found dead at the bottom of his swimming pool on Sunday, according to his fiancé and authorities. He was 47.
Police in Rialto, California received an emergency phone call from King’s fiancé, Cynthia Kelly, on Sunday around 5:25 a.m., said Captain Randy De Anda. Authorities found King at the bottom of his pool, removed him, and performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation until paramedics arrived. Police said King was announced dead at a local hospital. De Anda said there was no evidence of foul play and no obvious signs of injuries on King’s body. A drowning investigation has been launched and King’s body will be autopsied, and a toxicology screen will also be performed. In a statement, Reverend Al Sharpton said, “Rodney King was a symbol of civil rights and he represented the anti-police brutality and anti-racial profiling movement of our time. It was his beating that made America focus on the presence of profiling and police misconduct.”
Bernard Parks, a Los Angeles City Councilman who served as LAPD chief from 1997 to 2002, said, “I am saddened by the death of Rodney King. Although his beating will forever be thought of as one of the ugliest moments in the history of the city of Los Angeles and its police department, the victimization of Mr. King and the circumstances that followed created an atmosphere that allowed LAPD and the city to make historic disciplinary and community-based reforms that have made for a better police department and a better city as a whole.”