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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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It's sad to see all the racist hatred here. I keep waiting for all the stupid racists to die out, but sadly, they seem to be good at procreation.

829 days ago


Very sad, and I find it hard to believe there are so many "hate" votes piling up on simple comments of condolence.

829 days ago


Rodney king had a pool? smh

829 days ago

Dita Wildflower    

That video makes me so infuriated I can't even stand it.... RIP Rodney King.....

829 days ago


Is he really dead?? I don't see any other news outlets reporting on this....seems like it would be everywhere.

829 days ago


He seemed like such a sweet and sensitive person and in spite of his addictions and troubled life, he touched a lot of people in a very positive way.
I hope you have peace now Rodney.

829 days ago


When a person dies they leave family behind if you don't have anything nice to say skip the article...HE IS DEAD you can't hurt him anymore but you are hurting his children and his loved ones!!!!!!

829 days ago


Let's see

829 days ago

Pete the Geek    

Addiction is an illness that is still being treated as if it is a choice and still being punished as if it was a moral flaw. Addicts require medical treatment and compassion, not jail and certainly not beatings at the hands of thugs in police uniforms. Rodney King's life opened up a dialog about how police treat minorities and I sincerely hope that it leads to a continuing dialog on how an enlightened society can best care for addicts.

829 days ago

Fat Mike    

Wow, very sad.
I can't believe there's people disliking the comments offering sympathy. It goes to show that America really does have a long way to go.

829 days ago


so ... she found him at the bottom of the pool and left him there for the paramedics to get him out?

829 days ago


Rumor has it the LAPD built that pool for him as a way to say we're sorry.

829 days ago


One less piece of poop. U deserved all u got. Guesses all the skrilla you got from the lapd didn't help u start a new life. U blew it on the dope man. Good riddance you piece of mierda! Thug life!

829 days ago

#57 said it best    

Post 6 & 7 - completely agree, he really did come across sincere on Celebrity Rehab (yeah I know it is reality TV) seemed like a decent guy who had demons (addiction) that he couldn't quite shake

829 days ago


Armed robbery, DUI's, hit and runs, resisting arrest, etc. Yet you still see idiots here talking about how wonderful he was. Really? Did you folks cry when Bundy was executed?

829 days ago
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