LA riots figure Rodney King dies
Jun 18 2012
A man whose beating by police officers led to some of the worst race riots in American history has died.
Rodney King was found dead at the bottom of his swimming pool. He was just 47.
Police said he had spent the morning by the pool talking to his fiancee who was inside the house.
But she later emerged and found him in the water at their home in Rialto, California. Officers arrived to find King unresponsive and he was taken to Arrowhead Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Police said there were no signs of foul play and a coroner will perform a post-mortem examination within 48 hours.
Investigators will await results to determine whether drugs or alcohol were involved, but Captain Randy De Anda said there was neither alcohol nor paraphernalia found near the pool.
Mr King was stopped by police for speeding on a darkened street on March 3, 1991. A commotion developed and a resident quietly stepped outside his home to film the unfolding drama.
Four Los Angeles police officers hit Mr King more than 50 times with their batons, kicked him and shot him with stun guns. A copy of the footage was given to a television station and it was played repeatedly during the following year as racial tensions bubbled up.
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