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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

No Avatar
331.

Superman    

And why couldn't she pull him out of the pool?!? Yeah, I would say leaving him in a swimming pool for around 30 minutes would kill him. At the very least, it sounds like negligent homicide. She doesn't sound like a moral person anyways when she was part of the jury that awarded him the multi-million dollar lawsuit and now wants a piece of the action.

824 days ago
332.

Sherron    

This is so sad, it sounds like he must have got a hold of some bad stuff!

824 days ago
333.

Jeanne Tutt    

this was extremely sad to wake up and see. Not exactly surprising as there had been reports recently that he was back to drinking etc. Those demons can be so strong! I sure hope Lindsay pays attention...

rip and thoughts and prayers to his friends, family, and all affected....

824 days ago
334.

cjs    

Hinky, more to the story.

What about the neighbor that heard someone sobbing at Rodneys residence outside at 3-3:30am? The call comes in around 5am?

The autopsy will tell how long he was in the water. Something isn't right about this.

Very sad situation all the way around, but I still want some answers from the neighbor and the fiancée.

824 days ago
335.

Griff    

Good riddance. This druggie put many lives at risk before he was pulled over and beaten by the police. Even after everything, the dude continued to abuse drugs and get arrested. He was NOT a victim of anything.

824 days ago
336.

L'Tardarar    

King was not a nice man.
He slapped his mother around,
had a record miles long before
his name became known.

You realize that there were additional
occupants in the same car then night
of his infamous beating ?

All were told to
"get out of the car, on the ground, do not move !!"
The others did as they were told; none were
manhandled.
KING was high as a kite on drugs, didn't comply
and fought with the cops. The cops overdid it,
but they have to interact with these pieces of sh*t
every day. Must be difficult.

824 days ago
337.

Sam    

Lol at people saying he was a man of peace when he had a history of violence and domestic abuse. I'm not shedding a tear for someone who thinks it's ok to hit women. Even if he was going through tough times it's still no excuse to take it out on someone else.

824 days ago
338.

cynthia Hubbard    

WHY DID THEY HAVE TO BRING UP HIS BEATING THAT HAPPEN YRSSSSSSSS AGO SMH

824 days ago
339.

andywild    

may he find the peace in death that he could not find in his life

824 days ago
340.

Cheetara    

He could smoke all the weed he wanted, he could drink all the alcohol he wanted-what he did in his personal life was his business. I’ll bet some of you are doing the exact same thing right now while typing. The comments about him endangering the lives of others because he lead the police on a high speed chase is kind of laughable considering all the high speed chases that happens in CA. I know this because they show the really good ones on our news stations quite often and ever watch those truTV shows about dangerous police chases…the majority of them seem to take place somewhere in CA.

824 days ago
341.

nikynewark    

Don't be mockin when karma comes a knockin'.

824 days ago
342.

Muhammad Johnson    

This was one of the first classic examples of the media withholding facts, twisting facts, and outright lying in order to create a false impression in the minds of the shallow and the gullible.

The media intentionally edited the video to only show the last few seconds of the incident in order to make it seem as though King was "beaten."

In fact, after leading the CHP on a high speed pursuit through several California cities, King jumped out of the car and assaulted a female CHP officer. That officer was going to shoot King until Sgt. Stacy Koons of the LAPD told her to stand down and let his officers subdue King.

The LAPD officers "dogpiled" on King...and he threw them off like ragdolls. They Tasered him THREE times...he laughed and pulled out the probes. They pepper-sprayed him...it had no effect. No wonder they believed he was on PCP.

Ultimately, King lunged at an officer, tripped and fell on his face. At that time the officers deployed PR-24 batons and used them IN ACCORDANCE WITH THEIR TRAINING AND STATE LAW while ordering King to lay still and not move. When King lay still, he was not struck. When he attenpted to get up, he was struck in the major muscle groups in accordance with proper procedure.

The media then made a big production about the trial being held in "all white" Simi Valley. They intentionally neglected to mention that, while the trial was located there, NONE of the jurors was from Simi Valley. They also intentionally failed to mention that King's black male passenger did not assault police, and he was not touched or harmed in any way.
I watched the entire trial on CourtTV. The video was viewed frame-by-frame. It was clearly determined that the officers did not "beat" King, nor did they use excessive force - they used their department issued PR-24 batons in accordance with their training and proper police procedures...and THAT is why the officers were acquitted.

The twisting of the truth by the media in order to create a belief that this was a racially-motivated "beating" is what caused the millions of dollars of property damage and numerous murders in the ensuing riots. Now, the media is poised to once again be responsible for riots, arson and murder due to their lies about the Trayvon Martin case.

824 days ago
343.

tomas    

Well, at least we now know, contrary to popular belief, turds don’t float.

824 days ago
344.

Muhammad Johnson    

This was one of the first classic examples of the media withholding facts, twisting facts, and outright lying in order to create a false impression in the minds of the shallow and the gullible.


The media intentionally edited the video to only show the last few seconds of the incident in order to make it seem as though King was "beaten."


In fact, after leading the CHP on a high speed pursuit through several California cities, King jumped out of the car and assaulted a female CHP officer. That officer was going to shoot King until Sgt. Stacy Koons of the LAPD told her to stand down and let his officers subdue King.


The LAPD officers "dogpiled" on King...and he threw them off like ragdolls. They Tasered him THREE times...he laughed and pulled out the probes. They pepper-sprayed him...it had no effect. No wonder they believed he was on PCP.


Ultimately, King lunged at an officer, tripped and fell on his face. At that time the officers deployed PR-24 batons and used them IN ACCORDANCE WITH THEIR TRAINING AND STATE LAW while ordering King to lay still and not move. When King lay still, he was not struck. When he attenpted to get up, he was struck in the major muscle groups in accordance with proper procedure.


The media then made a big production about the trial being held in "all white" Simi Valley. They intentionally neglected to mention that, while the trial was located there, NONE of the jurors was from Simi Valley. They also intentionally failed to mention that King's black male passenger did not assault police, and he was not touched or harmed in any way.

I watched the entire trial on CourtTV. The video was viewed frame-by-frame. It was clearly determined that the officers did not "beat" King, nor did they use excessive force - they used their department issued PR-24 batons in accordance with their training and proper police procedures...and THAT is why the officers were acquitted.


The twisting of the truth by the media in order to create a belief that this was a racially-motivated "beating" is what caused the millions of dollars of property damage and numerous murders in the ensuing riots. Now, the media is poised to once again be responsible for riots, arson and murder due to their lies about the Trayvon Martin case.

824 days ago
345.

Ric    

Yes, and TMZ is proudly to present this... What a way to keep your site relevant, TMZ!

824 days ago
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