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Rodney King

Dead at 47

6/17/2012 10:43 AM PDT UPDATED: 6/17/2012 4:56 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Rodney King found dead.UPDATE 9:27 AM PT -- According to our sources, King's fiancée is telling friends King had been drinking and smoked weed in the hours before his death.

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Rodney King -- the man who was at the center of the infamous Los Angeles riots -- was found dead this morning in Rialito, CA. He was 47.

According to our sources, King's fiancée found him dead at the bottom of the pool (see photo of the pool below, taken today).

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Law enforcement sources tell TMZ they responded to a call at 5:25 AM PT. We're told they physically removed King from the pool and attempted CPR.

Our sources say he was pronounced dead at 6:11 AM.

Law enforcement sources say Rialto PD will open a drowning investigation, but so far there are no signs of foul play.



Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck released a statement today saying, "Rodney King has a unique spot in both the history of Los Angeles and the LAPD. What happened on that cool March night over two decades ago forever changed me and the organization I love. His legacy should not be the struggles and troubles of his personal life but the immensely positive change his existence wrought on this City and its Police Department."

King became famous in 1991 when he was the victim of police brutality at the hands of the LAPD. The officers involved in the incident were acquitted the following year and the announcement of the verdict led to the Los Angeles riots. 

TMZ spoke with King about two months ago, where he seemed upbeat and introspective. 

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767 COMMENTS

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136.

Ruby    

I'm confused , instead of checking to see what he was screaming about, why did she go look for her phone? Who was she calling at 5am when he was still alive? and he then leaped into the pool and drowned in an instant?

822 days ago
137.

rex dart eskimo spy    

I bet it was the ghosts of whitney houston and reginald denny that dragged him to the bottom of the pool.

822 days ago
138.

JamesAZ    

No Loss

822 days ago
139.

Senior Advisor    

RIP Mr. King. They mention alcohol and marijuana, but as ALWAYS we'll find out that he was also taking prescription drugs, which even when taken as prescribe is the 3rd leading cause of death, according to JAMA, in 2002. US Government health dept has a patent for medical use of marijuana (patent #6,630,507 see uspto.gov) which says marijuana is a neuro-protectant and antioxidant, so it wasn't the marijuana that killed him. That would be a first kill for marijuana. Hypocrites in govt arrest people for medical use of marijuana but also own a patent for medical use. But then politicians are natural hypocrites.

822 days ago
140.

HeddBanger    

If Obama had a brother...

822 days ago
141.

Buttchop    

Just like this dummy to steal more stuff than he could swim with.

822 days ago
142.

Scooter Van Neuter    

The real Rodney King was a gentle and kind man. He was no thug, no gangbanger.

Rodney fought his demon of addiction through numerous rehabs, maybe ultimately unsuccessfully. What a waste of a nice guy.

822 days ago
143.

NowyouKnow    

What you did not get to see here was the several minutes of video leading up to this little snippet here that the media has chosen for you to see. If you had seen that prologue, you would agree that the cops should have just shot this crazy wild nut.

822 days ago
144.

sancho    

One less woman beating, drug addict, poor excuse of a human dirt bag in the world!

822 days ago
145.

HeddBanger    

If Obama had a brother...

822 days ago
146.

Vincent    

Well as a kid we are told not to go swimming until 1 hour after we eat. I am pretty sure that rule still applies to booze and weed.........

822 days ago
147.

Hoss Chisum    

The pigs done did it again. On the 'net da be sayin dat da polease dwoned him. No justice, no piece. Kill whitey !!

822 days ago
148.

3Storms    

King was a racist who instigated his beatdown. He was never ever the victim he portrayed, and it showed with his repeated arrests.

And holy crap black people; you can throw any cat or dog into water and he'd elarn to swim in two seconds flat.

822 days ago
149.

JMMossen    

After all these years the Savages haven't become any more civilized, they will be out in force when Odumber is evicted from the housing project known as "The WHITE House.

822 days ago
150.

surfsupl    

this guy's life has been nothing but tragic since the beating. sad.

822 days ago
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