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Rodney King Dead of Apparent Drowning

The body of King, 47, was found in a swimming pool at his home in Rialto at 5:25 a.m. today, police said. His beating by police led to the 1992 Los Angeles riots.

Rodney King, a man best known for being beaten up by Los Angeles police and triggering the worst urban riots in a generation, died overnight in an apparent drowning. He was 47.

King's fiancee found him in a swimming pool at his home at 5:25 a.m. today, Rialto police Capt. Randy DeAnda said.

"There were no obvious signs of trauma,'' the officer said. "Rialto police are conducting a drowning investigation at this time.''

King had apparently spoken with his fiancee in the minutes before she discovered him lifeless in the pool behind their modest tract house in Rialto, 55 miles east of Los Angeles, police said. Rialto firefighters rushed King to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, where he was pronounced dead at 6:11.

In an interview last April, King told the BBC that he was engaged to marry Cynthia Kelley, whom he met as she sat as a juror in the civil lawsuit that awarded King $3.8 million for his injuries at the hands of four Los Angeles police officers in 1991.

King was catapulted to worldwide fame in when an amateur video photographer named George Holliday heard police helicopters whirling over his apartment, and picked up his new video camera to record the blurry images of four LAPD officers kicking a motorist who had been pulled from his car.

Images telecast around the world sparked a tinderbox of tension in Los Angeles, where inner city residents were already furious with law enforcement over the killing of a black child by a Korean shopkeeper. Years of heavy-handed police tactics had also bred deep-seated animosity.

When the four police officers were acquitted in a trial in Simi Valley in 1992, South Los Angeles erupted in riots. Fifty-three people were killed in the violent looting, random assaults and protests that some called an "uprising,'' and that others called a complete breakdown of society.

King appeared on television after four days of fires and carnage, pleading "I just want to say, you know, can we -- can't we all just get along?''

In an interview with National Public Radio last April, King said his flight from police back in 1991 was caused by a desire to avoid a drunken driving arrest on a night before he had to go to work.

"My family, everything that I had been working hard for since I'd been out of jail, my whole life was like flashed in front of me,'' King told NPR. "I made a bad mistake by running from them.''

King told interviewers last April that he had spent nearly all of the $3.8 million in civil judgments he had won against the LAPD, spending it on lawyers, relatives and himself.

King appeared at this spring's L.A. Times Festival of Books to promote his tome "The Riot Within: My Journey From Rebellion To Redemption.''

Attendees said he was hopeful and happy, but confessed to being a recovering
addict who suffers nightmares and flashbacks from the severe beating. But King also said he forgave the officers.

Yami June 22, 2012 at 08:00 AM
.....ya, but the fiancee didn't run to the neighbors, so dont be to sympathetic. She didn't know how to swim, we're told, so it seems fishy, the whole story. She goes and calls 9-11, knowing its gonna take 5-15min. for rescue. In the meantime, does't run to nieghbors, so someone could jump in. Now the oxygen is limited. Plus she's she says some stuff about callin the mother in law and her mother, which are older maybe 75, in the middle of the 9-11 call .......I hear Lt. Columbo coming, bye
bighotrod July 04, 2012 at 06:55 PM
you are what is wrong with the world...absolutely no respect for others. what kind of person comes on a site and bad mouths a dead man? whether you like it or not, rodney king was a victim of a brutal beating by the lapd. the same lapd that the department of justice decided was so corrupt that federal agents had to be brought in to investigate them and babysit them. why should he have had to give any settlement money to the shop owners? what an idiotic thing to say. the next time someone runs into your car and you get some money for an injury you sustained, why don't you take that money down to the county hospital and give it to indigent patients...or maybe stop by dhs and donate to foster kids whohave no parents? that sounds as logical. only a moron would think the victim of a beating is responsible for being brutalized but it takes a special kinda dumbazz to blame the victim when the jury finds the perps not guilty. why don't you place the blame squarely where it goes...at the feet of the cops and what's leftover you can toss at the crooked jury. too bad you don't do drugs catman...sounds like you aren't taking your meds. you are hateful, confused and just all around clueless and uninformed.
bighotrod July 04, 2012 at 07:00 PM
no...there is one thing way more regrettable than even his birth...yours. loser.
bighotrod July 04, 2012 at 07:30 PM
catman, who do we have to blame for your miserable, f**ed up life?
bighotrod July 04, 2012 at 07:43 PM
catman, quite a leap getting from compassion for a troubled soul to liberals bringing the country to its last days. your theory is way off though. your bitter solitary existence has caused you to confuse kindness as sympathy, and to mistake respect for others as a liberal agenda. you should get out of that lonely dark studio apartment and do some good for the world, and i don't mean picket a veteran's funeral with anti-gay signs again, or drive around pointing your gun at people you think are here illegally. i mean real good for the world. you are paranoid and delusional.

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