Rodney King Dead At 47
Rodney King is dead and police have opened an investigation into his apparent drowning
King became the face against policy brutality after four LAPD officers brutally beat him in 1991.
King, 47, had been outside his house most of the night, his fiancée, Cynthia Kelly, told investigators after she reported finding his body at the bottom of the pool at his California home.
“[Kelly] was inside the residence, had been sleeping and Mr. King had been carrying conversations with her from the rear patio poolside,” De Anda said. “She had heard him speaking to her. She got up to go outside to talk with him, at which time she found him at the bottom of the pool.”
King emerged as a sort of reluctant, “countercultural hero” after he suffered the beating and a bystander’s video camera captured the violence, Jackson told ABCNews.com.
That videotape, when shared with a Los Angeles TV station, sent shock waves around the world, catapulting police brutality and race relations in the United States to center stage and turning King into a symbol of the bitter conflict.
“It was his beating that made America focus on the presence of profiling and police misconduct,” civil rights advocate the Rev. Al Sharpton said in a statement. “History will record that it was Rodney King’s beating and his actions that made America deal with the excessive misconduct of law enforcement.”
“Rodney King’s case was a symbol of police abuse,” Sharpton said at a march Sunday to protest the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policy. “I remember before the tape of Rodney King, we talk about police abuse people thought we were making it up.”