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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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31.

Deon Fialkov    

RIP ...

802 days ago
32.

MsV    

Lived a tragic life, died a tragic death. RIP Rodney King.

802 days ago
33.

ManiacalZebra    

A tragic life and now a tragic death. I hope he is at peace now.

802 days ago
34.

Dennie    

OMG. His poor fiance, his poor family, and poor Dr. Drew.

802 days ago
35.

deadtedw    

What was he doing in a pool?

802 days ago
36.

Trainerchick     

Sad, sad, sad...i remember watching him on Celebrity Rehab

802 days ago
37.

butana    

I am sure his death was drug related..let's not forget how dangerous this man was at the time of the incident..his attack was not unprovoked..and the officers were found not guilty..Also./let's not forget Reginald Denny..the innocent truck driver minding his own business when he was brutally attacked without provocation..now that's tragic..

802 days ago
38.

Becca    

Sad. He had a terrible drinking problem. I have to wonder if he got messed up again and tripped into the pool?

802 days ago
39.

Fred E    

Great, couldn't happen to a nicer guy. What a pieceof crap. Drug addict, cry me a river. He deserved everything he got. KARMA.

802 days ago
40.

Fred E    

Great, couldn't happen to a better guy. What a pieceof crap. Lets all burn and riot the minority neighborhoods!!

802 days ago
41.

Brandon    

LAPD Tactical Units on 2 hr notice alert if any problems break out over this. (You know some idiots out there will think the cops did it)

802 days ago
42.

anni    

I watched Rodney on Dr. Drew Rehab, he was the kindest and nicest man ever. His biggest regret was not seeing enough of his children, which he made a huge effort to reconnect with. It saddens me that Rodney died. If longevity was based on a 'big heart', Rodney would still be with us. Just the kindest spirit. Love to his family and children............

802 days ago
43.

Polly    

I know his choices resuIted in his consequences, but I have always felt bad for this guy.

802 days ago
44.

Jenn    

R.I.P.

802 days ago
45.

user007    

How does a man that tall drown in a pool? Most home pools even in the deep end it isn't that deep. Couldn't he hold his breath and walk along the bottom to the middle of the pool where his head would be above the water? Or crawl to the side of the pool? Or doing the doggy paddle. Apparently the financee couldn't swim either as CNN reported the police got him out of the pool. Imma guess they will find some substance in his body.

802 days ago
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