Police received a 911 call from King’s fiancé at 5:25 a.m. when she found him in the bottom of the swimming pool. Responders attempted CPR, but they were unable to revive him.
He was pronounced dead at a local hospital a short time later. Foul play is not suspected at this time. The police believe King drowned.
Rodney King became a well known name following a riot sparked in Los Angeles when four white police officers were acquitted of brutally beating King. Rodney King represented what many Americans felt was wrong in the L.A.P.D. The not guilty verdict sparked outrage that got completely out of control.
The riots left 55 people dead. “It felt like Armageddon,” King said of the acquittal. “It felt like the end of the world. I was hurt. I was past upset. I was raised not to be violent, and not to be rioting and carrying on like a wild man, but at the same time, there was a side of me saying, ‘What else can you do?’ I didn’t agree with it, but I understood.”
The beating was videotaped and charges were filed against four white police officers that beat King after a DUI traffic stop on March 3, 1991. An amateur videographer caught the beating on tape. King was beaten 56 times with wooden batons. Yahoo News reports, “”I just got lucky that night to have the cameras on me. When I saw the tape, I was so happy that it was on tape and then looking at it, it was like I was in another body. I felt like I had died in that one, and was just watching it,” King told reporters in April, marking the 20th anniversary of the L.A. riots.