Sunday, June 17, 2012

Rodney King Dead at 47; Found at Bottom of Pool...

Rodney King, whose beating by Los Angeles Cops in 1991 sparked riots after the acquittal of the four officers that assaulted him was found dead at the bottom of his pool Early Sunday morning.
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 arrived and 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 will be autopsied.
"His fiancee heard him in the rear yard," he said, and found King in the pool when she went outside.

Kelly was also a juror in King's lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles in 1994. 

King's beating followed a high-speed car chase and its backlash forever changed Los Angeles, its police department and the ongoing problem on race in America.

"Rodney King was a symbol of civil rights and he represented the anti-police brutality and anti-racial profiling movement of our time," Rev. Al Sharpton said in a statement. "It was his beating that made America focus on the presence of profiling and police misconduct."

At the time King was only 25 and on parole as a result of a robbery conviction in March 1991. In an interview in 2011, he stated he had been drinking and was headed home from a friend's house when he saw a police car following him and panicked, thinking he would be sent back to prison, he attempted to flee.

Severely beaten by four white officers while black officers stood and watched, King lay on the ground as an onlooker filmed the attack that appeared on national television two days later. Beaten nearly to death he was operated on by three surgeons for five hours.

In the years following the beating and trial King had several more run ins with the law. On the 20th anniversary of the beating in 2011, he was pulled over and ticketed for a minor traffic violation.

King said earlier this year he has forgiven the officers who beat him.
"Yes, I've forgiven them, because I've been forgiven many times," he said. "My country's been good to me ... This country is my house, it's the only home I know, so I have to be able to forgive -- for the future, for the younger generation coming behind me, so ... they can understand it and if a situation like that happened again, they could deal with it a lot easier."

R.I.P Rodney King, and I hope we can all just get along...

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