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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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346.

Tasos    

If Rodney King effectively accomplished one thing through his appearance on the television show,
"Celebrity Rehab", he showed America that he was a kind-hearted man of faith, who evidently could not seem to be purged of the demons that daunted him, so he may finally find relief from the pain that he tried to escape through drink. May God bless Rodney King, and may He wipe his soul white as snow clean of his transgressions, and may He forever release his spirit from the pain that vexed it.

826 days ago
347.

Ric    

Don't you have better news to report than this trash?

826 days ago
348.

Ric    

I guess TMZ is no longer "Celebrity" reporting.

826 days ago
349.

Missy    

Surprising. His using got him in trouble his whole life & did again. Saw him on Celebrity Rehab & when sober, he seemed like a pretty good guy. He should've still had all the $ he got, too. Couldn't get out of his own way. Sad.

826 days ago
350.

marymac    

Too bad it wasn't waste product Lindsay Lowhan.

RIP Rodney, you were a good man.

826 days ago
351.

Woot    

I'm so so, sorry to hear this. Such an unfortunate series of events in this guy's tumultuous life. Let me just say that the little we got to know of Rodney after *that* event told us a lot about his character. Sober, he was actually a gentle, truly kind guy.... he just had a lot of demons and struggles. I hope, if there's something after this life, he's at peace. xoxo :o(

826 days ago
352.

Demi    

I hope those corrupts are living inhell and that the ignorants that comment here in favor of such an absurd have the same fate. Get beat out of your dignity or have your rights raped. When those animals got aqquitted. R.I. P. Rodney, they can't hurt you now.

826 days ago
353.

Woot    

DAMMIT. My heart is broken for this guy. So much good in his heart - you couldn't help to see this when he spoke. Sober, he seemed to be a most gentle, kind soul.

I'm so sorry, Rodney. If there's an afterlife, I hope you're at peace. XXXOOO

826 days ago
354.

j    

ievable that someone would on purpose put him in a reality show where he gets beat/fights. Hollywood is sick. He may have needed the money, so he agreed...this may have been really humiliating...maybe he was drinking and smoking pot over anxiety over this upcoming fight? He seemed like a really likeable, nice guy. Very sad for him. Drugs and alcohol are evil.

826 days ago
355.

j    

Unbelievable.

ievable that someone would on purpose put him in a reality show where he gets beat/fights. Hollywood is sick. He may have needed the money, so he agreed...this may have been really humiliating...maybe he was drinking and smoking pot over anxiety over this upcoming fight? He seemed like a really likeable, nice guy. Very sad for him. Drugs and alcohol are evil.

826 days ago
356.

StarryStarryNight    

oh well...live like an a$$hole, die like an a$$hole.

826 days ago
357.

MrR    

His last words "Call TMZ this is going to be a good one"

826 days ago
358.

David Kaliner    

The video evidence of police officers violently beating Rodney King years ago brought much needed attention to the horrible corruption and brutality that sadly exists more commonly among cops than a majority of the public is seemingly aware. The Los Angeles riots subsequently following this outrageous incident also sparked a good deal of media attention and made headlines throughout the world. Mr. King famously spoke out shortly thereafter, urging us all to get along. His inspirational message should never be forgotten. People need to respect each other as individuals and genuinely appreciate our unique differences. Police brutality must be more thoroughly examined. Officers need to pass a higher level of stringent evaluations and testing required on a regular basis to comply with any civilized society's reasonable expectations. Such excessive violence is outrageously senseless and never acceptable. My sincerest condolences go out to the family of Rodney King. Rest in peace, Mr. King.

826 days ago
359.

David Kaliner    

The do***ented video of police officers violently beating Rodney King years ago brought much needed attention to the horrible corruption and brutality that sadly exists more commonly among cops than a majority of the public is seemingly aware. The Los Angeles riots subsequently following this outrageous incident also sparked a good deal of media attention and made headlines throughout the world. Mr. King famously spoke out shortly thereafter, urging us all to get along. His inspirational message should never be forgotten. People need to respect each other as individuals and genuinely appreciate our unique differences. Police brutality must be more thoroughly examined. Officers need to pass a higher level of stringent evaluations and testing required on a regular basis to comply with any civilized society's reasonable expectations. Such excessive violence is outrageously senseless and never acceptable. My sincerest condolences go out to the family of Rodney King. Rest in peace, Mr. King.

__________

826 days ago
360.

Jhay    

WoW ! Thats Sad , R.I.Paradise Rodney.

826 days ago
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