Rodney King who rose to fame after he was seen being nearly beaten to death by several Los Angeles police officers helping spark the LA riots which led to 50 deaths and almost $1 billion in damage has died at his California home. From CNN:
Rodney King, whose beating by Los Angeles police in 1991 was caught on camera and sparked riots after the acquittal of the four officers involved, was found dead in his swimming pool Sunday, authorities and his fiancee said. He was 47. 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 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.
King’s beating after a high-speed car chase and its aftermath forever changed Los Angeles, its police department and the dialogue on race in America. King was 25 and on parole after a robbery conviction in April 1991. In an interview in 2011, he recalled 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. So he attempted to flee.
Four LAPD officers — Theodore Briseno, Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind and Sgt. Stacey Koon — were indicted on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and excessive use of force by a police officer. But following a three-month trial in the predominantly white Los Angeles suburb of Simi Valley, three of the officers were acquitted of all charges.
King was eventually awarded $3.8 million from the city and his story will forever be remembered when people discuss race relations in America.
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