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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

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. 




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Rodney could drink, yes. Rodney could smoke some weed, yes. Sadly, when Rodney drank and smoked weed, together, he'd forget he couldn't swim.

775 days ago


Remember, the Thugs and Thugettes of L.A. used Rodney King and the trial as an excuse to go out in L.A. and cause 53 deaths, 2,383 injuries, more than 7,000 fires, damages to 3,100 businesses, and nearly $1 billion in financial losses.
Great tribute to Fathers - King has been estranged from his children all of their lives until just recently.
yeah, he makes the perfect Civil Rights Icon. A sterling model of the culture he represents. Everyone should have a father just like Rodney King.

775 days ago


Saw him on Celebrity Rehab. He really seemed to be a sweet, caring man(when he wasn't drinking), so I'm sad to see him lose his battle with addiction. Condolences to his friends and family.

775 days ago


TMZ how insensetive of you to put the video up that sparked such violence because of this man's horrific beating. 55 people lost their lives and over 2,000 were injured. Regional Denny was nearly killed as well. SHAME ON YOU TMZ! You are a bunch of insensitive jerk's minus the sensitivity CHIP! R.I.P. Rodney King

775 days ago

Drugsney Drinkhan    

Same mysterious cir***stances whitney died under, eh? I guess the industry is cleaning house.

775 days ago



Good Riddance!

775 days ago


Leader of the race card is dead......CELEBRATE!!! Blacks and Whites.....MAYBE, if we can rid of sharpton and jackson...........WE CAN FINALLY be a HUMAN RACE.

775 days ago


The only way a person can be "at peace" after death is if they had accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. I'm hoping Rodney is with Him this day.

775 days ago


and we shall miss such an UPSTANDING citizen. RIP douchebag.

775 days ago


the guy was a dirtbag. Getting beat up by some white thugs does not make him a saint. Good grief.

775 days ago



775 days ago

p51d007's all "white mans" fault for him to be in this situation bla bla bla. Had he not been intoxicated/stoned/high or whatever it was in 91, NOTHING would have happened. He fought the police, he ran from the police, and they had to beat the crap out of him to get him under control.
Another loser gone.

775 days ago

Cheryl A.    

His whole life was sorrow. Then to die in his own swimming pool is just sad, sad, sad!

775 days ago


makes u wonder if the beating he took years ago caused him 2 die way too soon...brain trauma can have a forever lasting affect on the brain...r.i.p rodney,he wasnt a sain but none of us are so show sum respect 2 the dead and keep ur smartazz comments 2 urself...u dont know his upbringing for some of u bashing him...what does that me u of a person bashing a dead persons name.

775 days ago


Sorry to hear but at least he helped changed the way the LAPD did business.

775 days ago
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