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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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770 COMMENTS

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16.

lynn     

How sad - especially on Father's Day.....God bless his children and family. :o(

766 days ago
17.

penny    

Another one of Dr. Drew's rehab group has bit the dust. Maybe Dr. Drew should rethink his treatments.
Not one of them has stayed "clean and sober"...

766 days ago
18.

Jill E    

A very sad ending. I understand he suffered from depression and substance abuse. I hope he can RIP now.

766 days ago
19.

frank    

RIP so sad

766 days ago
20.

Sashatree    

RIP Mr. King. You suffered such injustice and violence - yet your message was one of peace and understanding. A gentle man whose name will always bring to mind the worst and the best our society has to offer.

766 days ago
21.

john johnson    

r.i.p. rodney....the cops did it.

766 days ago
22.

enlightenedcanadian    

so sorry for this loss

766 days ago
23.

CTJPMarie    

It literally makes me ill to watch this horrific beating. To think that ANYONE of those cops got off is reprehensible.

Well...he (Rodney King) is out of pain now. And those men, who call themselves officers of the law will pay when their time comes.

766 days ago
24.

Jen    

Such a tragic life, RIP Rodney.

766 days ago
25.

John Gosselin    

I cant give up my own sources but heard about this news 30 minutes before it broke. I have details TMZ may confirm but I cant put them here.

766 days ago
26.

whatever    

Too bad the cops weren't the ones to kill off the idiot but he's gone now so I'm happy. Stupid niqqer.

766 days ago
27.

FatazzJ    

Hoping this poor soul is getting the rest he deserves.Still pisses me off those cops were acquitted.RIP

766 days ago
28.

HeadTinkler    

So sad; after everything he had already been through! !!!

766 days ago
29.

NYC    

Gone too soon! RIP

766 days ago
30.

Melissa     

Very sad, may he RIP. Condolences to his family and friends. Poor man.

766 days ago
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