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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

No Avatar
391.

Haha    

You people are sickening and are very rude, this man was beaten by the police and no one deserves to be beaten. .... Wow he gets beat by "several" officers and you say "a dead piece of crap, you have a lot of nerve and I'm sure if your haten on a dead man you have NO life loser......

767 days ago
392.

john    

Yawn,,,,this is a story Why?

767 days ago
393.

Rangdrol    

I saw him in a recent interview and he seemed to be doing much better. It is certainly understandable that anyone who was beaten and was in the public eye the way he was would have suffered. His manner was to consume and abuse drugs, and I am sure that this led to his death.

I wonder if he could even swim, so I don't want to make any allegations. In the end, he really seemed like a man who was about to rise above all that had happened to him. He was a victim, and we must not forget that the men who violently abused him were never punished for what they did.

He is not gone, it is simply his physical shell that has died. Om Mani Pedme Hung.

767 days ago
394.

Dose Of Reality    

Rodney King R.I.P
(Rest In Pool)

767 days ago
395.

Dose Of Reality    

Can't we all just get a long (snorkel)?

767 days ago
396.

Rangdrol    

The sad fact is that we live in a country that is full of hatred, for blacks, for asians, for latinos, for gays, and that wont change overnight. The African American community should take some responsibility for allowing the police officers to go free. It seems that we only care what happens to children, but that when they turn 18, we stop caring for human beings.

Seems that Rodney was trying to remake himself, like many people are, and he should be commended for that, not slandered. I think that he can rest in peace, and that there are a number of police officers who are responsible for making this man's life a hell. Om Mani Pedme Hung.

767 days ago
397.

JC9014    

The most shocking thing about this story is that Rodney King had a house with a pool!

767 days ago
398.

billy    

screw Rodney King

767 days ago
399.

FatazzJ    

There are those in life who get steely under the pressures that life hurls at us.Others,not so much.Escapism weakens.Have compassion for the weak.Dont be an evil douchebag that kicks someone in a weakened state.Raise them up.Even if they fail,YOU did the right thing.
OR
be the dick you are because you get a kick out of hurting.Why stop there?Kick kittens!shove old ladies into traffic! its the exact same thing.

767 days ago
400.

bubblezzz    

So sad...I remember him on Dr. Drew trying to help him and fixing up his home. The beating and the addiction was just too much to bare...

767 days ago
401.

I Was About To Say    

You all say "RIP" but what about all the other people that die and are hooked on hard drugs and etc? You don't say that for them, you say "they deserve it" This man was NOT an angel. He blew his fortune on drugs, Only thing he didn't deserve was that harsh beating but he did himself in with the drugs. You play you pay.

767 days ago
402.

ragu4u    

He's got a swimming pool? HE'S GOT A SWIMMING POOL?? It was probably filled with "Old English". He wasn't drowned; he was drunk!

767 days ago
403.

traveller    

Was Skittles ans Sweet Tea involved?

767 days ago
404.

J M Arnet    

WHERE DID RODNRY KING WORK?? I NEVER HEARD HOW HE EARNED HIS LIVING. MAYBE HE WORKED FOR AL SHARPTON.

767 days ago
405.

K-Dog    

What a shock. Really sad but never understood why he chose to live in Rialto,a seedy city in the Inland Empire. Investigate the fiance.

767 days ago
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