Rodney King dies at 47

King dies in apparent drowning

WRITTEN BY: Sara Hall
Rodney King experienced police brutality in 1991.
Image Source: Lapsed Pacifist via Wikimedia Commons
Rodney King experienced police brutality in 1991.

Rodney King, who was best known for sparking discussion around racial tensions, died on Sunday at the age of 47.

King was found at approximately 5:30 a.m. on Sunday at the bottom of his swimming pool.

His death is being treated as a drowning; although, no signs of foul play exist.

Captain Randy De Anda said an autopsy, set for Monday, will determine whether drugs or alcohol played a role in the death of Rodney King.

De Anda continued to say Rodney King was only in the water for three to four minutes from the time when his fiancée called 911 to when the police officers arrived on the scene and removed him from the water.

King was pronounced dead at 6:11 a.m.

King was often known to swim late into the night.

Rodney King marked a milestone in the discussion surrounding racial tensions.

In 1991, King was videotaped being beaten by police. He had been on parole for robbery conviction and had led police on a high-speed chase, only to end with police catching him and striking him with their batons more than 50 times, kicking him and shooting him with stun guns.

The beating, which left Rodney King with 11 skull fractures, a broken eye socket and facial nerve damage, was the catalyst for one of the country’s worst race riots.

Rodney King then left Los Angeles and moved an hour east to the city of Rialato, Calif. in hopes of more solitude.

King was awarded $3.8 million for his civil case, which he spent on a record label and other failed projects.

Rodney King made appearances in pop culture, appearing on the show Celebrity Rehab and boxing matches. He recently finished his memoir, The Riot Within: From Rebellion to Redemption.

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