Rodney King found dead

2012-06-17 18:25
Rodney King

Rodney King

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Rialto - Rodney King, whose beating by police in 1992 sparked the LA race riots, was found dead in his swimming pool early on Sunday, authorities said. He was 47.

Rialto Police Captain Randy Deanda told AFP King was found "unresponsive" at the bottom of his pool after a call from his fiancée and was pronounced dead at a local medical centre shortly afterward at 06:11 (13:11 GMT).

"Preliminarily, there do not appear to be any signs of foul play," Deanda added, noting that police were conducting a drowning investigation and that the coroner's office would perform an autopsy.

King became a symbol of racial tensions in America following his beating by baton-wielding LA police after a high-speed car chase was caught on camera.

He was severely beaten by four white police officers who struck him more than 50 times with their wooden batons and used a stun gun.

Four officers involved went on trial for use of excessive force but were acquitted on 29 April 1992, triggering days of deadly rioting in Los Angeles that left more than 50 people dead and caused around one billion dollars in damage.

Speaking ahead of the 20th anniversary of the riots, King said racism still has to be challenged.

"There's always gonna be some type of racism. But it's up to us as individuals in this country to look back and see all the accomplishments that we have gotten to this far," he told CNN.

Asked about his feelings toward the police officers who beat him, he said: "I have forgiven [them], because America has forgiven me for so many things and given me so many chances.

Been drinking

"You get to have a second chance, and I've been given a second chance," said King, who has had a number of brushes with the law since 1992.

"I have much respect for [the police], much respect... some of them went out of their way over the years to try to make it up to me. Not all of them is bad."

In an earlier CNN interview, King recalled that he had been drinking despite being on parole after a 1991 robbery conviction and was headed home from a friend's house when he saw a police car was following him and panicked, worried he would be sent back to jail.

So he tried to flee by car but tried to park in a public place when he realised police officers were catching up with him.

"I saw all those apartments over there, so I said, 'I'm gonna stop right there,'" he said. "'If it goes down, somebody will see it.'"

King said as the officers beat him, they yelled, "We are going to kill you, nigger," although police later denied using racial slurs.

Since the events that catapulted him into the spotlight, King has had several brushes with the law.

He was arrested in 2005 for making threats to kill his daughter and his daughter's mother after the two women got into an argument with his then-girlfriend.

He was also arrested in 2003 for allegedly punching a girlfriend. He had also pleaded guilty to reckless driving after crashing into a house with his car.

In November 2007, he was treated in hospital after an incident in which he was shot and wounded in the face, back and upper torso, in the Los Angeles suburb of San Bernardino.

Read more on:    rodney king  |  us

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.