Rodney King Found Dead At 47
Rodney King, the man whose name became synonymous with police brutality in 1991, was found dead in his swimming pool by his fiancee Cynthia Kelly on Father’s Day, June 17, 2012. He was only 47 years old.
According to Captain Randy DeAnda, a 911 call was placed at 5:25 AM by Kelly. When the Rialto, California police department arrived on the scene, they removed him from the pool and attempted to revive him. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital at 6:11 AM. With no visible injuries, a police investigation as to the cause of King’s death is currently underway.
King became a household name after his brutal beating by four police officers (three Caucasian, one Hispanic) was caught on camera in 1991. Despite video clearly illustrating that King had been hit more than 50 times with wooden batons, three of the four officers were acquitted on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and excessive use of force. The decision led to the infamous L.A. riots that caused 50 deaths and more than $1 billion in damages.
On the third day of rioting, a press conference was held where King uttered this now-unforgettable phrase: “People, I just want to say, can we all get along? Can we get along?”
In the years that followed, King released a memoir The Riot Within (seen in the photograph above) and in 2008 he appeared on a season of Celebrity Rehab to battle his alcoholism. “The trouble that (people) see me in is a part of my life that I’m working on,” he said in 2011. “I’ll always have an issue when it comes to alcohol. My dad was an alcoholic. The addiction part is in my blood. What I’ve learned to do is arrest my addiction—arrest it myself, so I don’t get arrested.”