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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
61.

palermo    

He seemed like a nice guy when he was on Celeb Rehab, but he had his demons. RIP

767 days ago
62.

Mels    

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.

767 days ago
63.

Liz    

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

767 days ago
64.

tom    

Rodney king had a pool? smh

767 days ago
65.

Dita Wildflower    

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

767 days ago
66.

CloudzAngel    

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

767 days ago
67.

ThirdFromTheLeft    

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.

767 days ago
68.

dd    

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!!!!!!

767 days ago
69.

Tuco     

Let's see

767 days ago
70.

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.

767 days ago
71.

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.

767 days ago
72.

KH    

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

767 days ago
73.

user007    

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

767 days ago
74.

Tuco     

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!

767 days ago
75.

#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

767 days ago
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