Rodney King, the man whose videotaped beating by Los Angeles police officers in 1991 sparked some of the deadliest race riots in U.S.history, was found dead on Sunday, Reuters reported. He was 47.
King was found dead in a pool and there were no signs of foul play, Reuters reported, citing California police.
King was beaten by Los Angeles Police Department officers on March 3, 1991. A bystander videotaped much of the incident from a distance.
Violence broke out after a California jury acquitted three white and one Hispanic Los Angeles police officers in his beating.
The riots that erupted on April 29, 1992, were among the most lethal in U.S. history. By the time order was restored, 53 people had died, nearly 3,000 people were injured and thousands of businesses were damaged or destroyed.
Nearly a year later, a federal jury convicted two of the police officers of a federal charge of violating King’s civil rights and sentenced them to 30 months in prison. Two other officers were acquitted. King eventually received a $3.8 million settlement from the city, and the case led to sweeping changes in LAPD.
King had recently been promoting his just-published memoir, "The Riot Within: My Journey From Rebellion to Redemption."
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
Rodney King's fiancée is telling friends Rodney had been drinking all day Saturday ... and had smoked weed in the hours leading up to his death ... sources close to King tell TMZ.
According to our sources, King's fiancée, Cynthia Kelley, is telling friends King was at the house all day drinking, and he smoked marijuana at some point, before she went to bed at 2:00 AM.
We're told Kelley says she next saw King at around 5:00 AM when she was awoken by him screaming in the backyard. Our sources say Kelley found King naked, banging on the glass, and she called out to him, "What's wrong, Rodney?"
Kelley is telling friends she then went to grab her phone when she heard a big splash. She then went to the backyard and discovered him in the bottom of the pool and called police.
Paramedics attempted to revive King, but were unsuccessful.
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