Posted by | Ray Cornelius
Rodney King, the African-American motorist whose videotaped beating by Los Angeles police officers in 1991 sparked the beginning of the deadliest race riots in US history, was found dead today. He was 47.
According to MSN.com, Officers in Rialto, Calif., found King’s body in a swimming pool after responded to a 911 call from his fiancée. Officers are said to have pulled King from the pool and began doing CPR but he was unresponsive. King was taken to Arrowhead Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 6:11am PDT.
King’s death is being investigated as a drowning and there seems to be no signs of foul play.
King was the black motorist that was stopped for speeding by LA Police officers on March 3, 1991 and beaten by four officers, three white and one Hispanic. A distant bystander caught the incident on videotape as King was kicked and hit more than 50 times.
A year later, the four officers were acquitted by a California jury and thus a barrage of race riots took place across the country. Several business were destroyed and at least 53 people died, 3000 were injured.
A year later, a federal jury convicted two of the officers for violating King’s civil rights and sentenced them to 30 months in prison. The other two offices were acquitted. King received a 3.8 million settlement from the case.
Since that time, King was arrested several times for alcohol related causes. He also appeared on the reality show, “Celebrity Rehab.”
At the time of his death, King had been promoting his new memoir, “The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption.”
King will be most remembered for his famous words after the LA Riots, “Can’t we all just get along?”