Our TV Shows

Got a Tip?

Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here

Rodney King

Dead at 47

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

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.

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).

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. 




No Avatar

Mark in St. Louis, MO    

Let's see back when all of this happed, the LA police were led on a merry car chase. The chase was at excessive speed (try in the range of 80 - 90+ mph) through the streets of South Central LA.

Mr. King DID NOT obey the police order when he exited the car. The did not have the opportunity to check if he had a weapon on not and the need to disarm a person for everybody's safety and well being.

From his build the police suspected a jailbird!

The posted video is edited; it does not show the portion towards the beginning where Mr. King rose from the ground and charged at the police.

From his actions/demeanor, etc. the police suspected that he was high on PCP, which medical records from that night prove.

It took two, yes, two taser shots to start to subdue Mr. King; additional proof that he was on PCP that night. For those not aware of the effects of PCP, it makes you think you are "Superman."

In the ambulance, Mr. King was laughing all of the way to the hospital because he knew the police were in trouble. Possibly a fact picked up from spending time in jail.

In later years Mr. King was stopped by police for driving under the influence but nothing was done since "riots" were caused by this incident with the law enforcement; in actuality, the "riots" were an exploitation of the matter. Therefore, no need for more trouble for LA due to this piece of human debris.

Questions I have, will Mr. King's passing be a cause celeb for more exploitation? Also, this one for over 20 years now, who shot the video? Seems sort of coincidental since this was before the advent of "smart" phones.

856 days ago


To protect me and to serve me.Thats never happened for me,I have been hassled a few times.Once my boyfriend was called a wetback by a cop.Funny he has never been to Mexico.Had a cop call me a ***got onetime told me we all needed to be locked up.Ya cops are great people.Abusing their authority because of a badge and a gun and very limited education.

856 days ago

Latch Johnson    

Who cares. He was more trouble than he was ever worth.

856 days ago


If Obama had a son, he'd be just like Rodney.

856 days ago


racist ass motha ****as....what ever drugs he did was not cause for the police to beat the crap out of him.......thats why blacks beat white ass racist people. becuase you all think he deserved it....justice is just that......just-us...thats why most of whites are loosing there country...u so busy worring about the blacks that the mexicans is taking over the whole dam country....they sure ass hell got your white asses fooled.....

856 days ago


who cares, good riddance.

856 days ago


R.I.P. Rodney, God Bless you and your family. so sad.

856 days ago


Saints and martyrs never die.

856 days ago

Metta Worldhate    

First Whitney, now him. Black people need to stay away from water.

856 days ago

Jackazz flatts    

He was in the pool hiding from the cops

856 days ago


I say a fund should be started to erect a commemorative monument in his dishonor in the LA Garbage Dump.

856 days ago

JugEars McKenyan Sr..    

Sad life comes to a sad end. RIP cause you sure didn't have any on this earth bro......They gave him millions after that beating and what did he do with it all? Nothing. I'm 47 and it makes me sick that a guy who was given a whole new life and celebrity did what> he got arrested all the time, threw away some money on a rapping waste of time, all kinds of stupid crud, and now he probably jumped in the pool drunk and drowned. Anybets? Come back later and we'll see. Drugs and or alcohol has something to do with it. Guaranteed.

856 days ago


Lucky to have a pool.
I bet it is a pretty sweet pool at that.
I could use a nice pool right now. Out in the Mojave right now and it is getting quite warm.
I just might take the drive and find a nice pool today.
Good idea this article just gave me. Thanks!

856 days ago


He will not be missed by me and we will get no more multi million dollar settlements.

Bye rodney, you won't be missed.

856 days ago


Rodney would still be alive if that pool hadn't been filled with water.

856 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | Most Recent | Next 15 Comments

Around The Web