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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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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.

767 days ago

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.

767 days ago


What did he OD on?

767 days ago


This wasn't some innocent wonderful person who contributed anything to society. Quit pretending he was awesome. He was a drunk who had a nice arrest record and was resisting police when he got his ass beat. They conveniently left out all the video of him fighting back with the cops. I saw it recently and was wondering why I didn't see it a gazillion years ago. The lame stream media left it out trying to cause a race war and morons fell for it.

767 days ago


Can't we all just get along?

767 days ago


Poor guy, rest in peace.

767 days ago


so sad. You had a tough go at life after the beating. I hope you are in a happy place now.

767 days ago


So sad I am so sorry for your kids on fathers day....finally you can RIP!

767 days ago


"when he was the victim of police brutality at the hands of the LAPD" = OutRageous Lie!

Led police on a high speed chase reaching speeds of over 100 mph and THEN taunted officers while resisting arrest bit(dot)ly/e0sRmG

767 days ago


Sad and unfortunate... RIP

767 days ago

Bob Sanders    

Mr. King didn't deserve to be beaten, and the officers were disciplined. More importantly, the citizens of LA didn't need to be subjected to his numerous DUI incidents, and he certainly didn't deserve to be awarded tax payer money as damages for any of it.

767 days ago


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

767 days ago


thank god for that GOOD RIDDANCE may he rest in piss

767 days ago


And on Father's Day. I remember when the Riots happened. I was living in L.A. The night the lights went out in Georgia. 47 is too young. People are dying younger and younger these days. Life is too stressful.

767 days ago


This has sadden me, RIP Rodney King.

767 days ago
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