Los Angeles authorities have ruled out foul play in the sudden death of Rodney King, but a cause of death has yet to be determined. An autopsy will performed on King Monday.
King was found dead in his swimming pool at his Rialto, California home early Sunday morning by his fiancé, Cynthia Kelley. He was pronounced dead at 6:11 a.m. after paramedics’ attempts to revive him failed. King was 47.
King became a household name in 1991 after he was nearly beaten to death by four Los Angeles police officers. The incident was taped by a bystander, George Holliday. King was hit 56 times with batons and kicked at least six times. He sustained severe injuries including 11 skull fractures and a broken eye socket.
In 1992, three of the officers were acquitted of excessive use of force and assault with a deadly weapon while a mistrial was declared for the fourth officer. The verdicts sparked violent riots across Los Angeles that left at least 50 people dead. The city sustained an estimated $1 billion in damage.
As the riots raged, King pleaded for peace. "People, I just want to say, can we all get along? Can we get along?" he famously said.
King, whose battle with alcoholism was featured on Celebrity Rehab in 2008 and Sober House in 2009, spoke about his continued desire for peace in one of his last interviews earlier this year. “When I leave here, when my final day on this earth is up, I want to leave in peace. I want to have peace in my heart,” he told The One-Page Magazine in April.
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