Rodney King, famous for his beating at the hands of Los Angeles police in 1991 and the riots that resulted when several officers involved were acquitted, is dead at 47.
Police in Rialto, California, received a 911 call from King's fiancee, Cynthia Kelly, about 5:25 a.m., said Capt. Randy DeAnda. Responding officers found King at the bottom of the pool, removed him and attempted to revive him. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital, DeAnda said.
There were no preliminary signs of foul play, he said, and no obvious injuries on King's body. Police are conducting a drowning investigation, DeAnda said, and King's body would be autopsied.
King's beating, captured on video, launched a trend of bystanders filming police behavior (and misbehavior), followed by the police's authoritarian and sometimes violent responses. The battle to record police officers, particularly when they are abusing their power, continues today. Just last week, a man in Rancho Palos Verdes (south of Los Angeles) was acquitted of charges of battery against Los Angeles County deputies after security video contradicted deputies' claims that he spat at them.
Tim Cavanaugh wrote about the 20th anniversary of the L.A. riots in April.