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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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Allyson Pendleton    

REGARDLESS if he was high off drugs and they didn't show the ENTIRE video...for the duration of 1:17 of this clip, he did not fight back , not for one second. so Why was he not cuffed and put into a police car while laying there helplessly? instead he was beaten and kicked while already down. You are sick to think him or anyone else deserved that. R.I.P. Mr. Rodeny King

797 days ago

David Wells    

And somewhere a white guy will be blamed by Rev. Al Sharpton.

797 days ago


I guess the Reverends Al and Jesse are out there now looking for some white cop they can blame for drowning this POS.

797 days ago


The moron took cops on a high speed chase through a residential neighborhood while drunk AND refused to follow instructions after the cops got him out of the car. There were two guys with him in the car who were not touched because they listened to the cops. Rodney King deserved every bruise he got and should have got more. Stop making up excuses for him. He ultimately caused the L.A. riots and ripped taxpayers off for millions of dollars. Good riddance.

797 days ago


People around here whine about Lindsay Lohan and Kardashians and make apologies for a piece of crap like Rodney King. That figures.

797 days ago


some of you are twisted! while I do not like the beating he IS what drugs bring about! his choices got him what he got. wake up

797 days ago


Bush did it...

797 days ago


Poor Rodney. He seemed so nice on Celeb Rehab. On that note... Dr. Drew must be stopped.

797 days ago


We should have let the CHP female officer shoot him that night. Instead the LAPD took a black eye for following policy after he attack two cops.

People forget the Tasers at that time were almost never worked...

Years later, he tried to kill to LAPD vice cops an was never prosecuted because he was "Rodney King". We had cops jailed instead of this piece of crap. What about the innocent victims of the riots.. I feel for them.

Bottom line: good riddance!

797 days ago


If he wouldn't have attacked the police and just did what they said he wouldn't have gotten beat. If a cop tells me to do something I will do it. Like someone said the other guys with him that night didn't get beat because they did what they were told.

797 days ago

Edward Norton    

It seems odd he was found handcuffed.

797 days ago

Carol L    

How very very sad. Rest in Peace. I hope your soul is no longer tortured.

797 days ago

common sense    

What a racisit comment to say LAPD!! Don't forget to blame Bush while your at it!!

797 days ago


Sad, I saw him on Celebrity Rehab too and he did seem like he really wanted to get his life in order.. move on. Guy had alot of bad times in short life.

797 days ago

Deport them both    

1) Smokes Crack 2) Lead Cops on a High Speed Chase 3) Disobey orders to stop resisting arrest 4) Creates Riots because he is a cry baby because he got detained 5) Has a bunch of Crack Babies 6) does more drugs 7) dies face down in someones pool. Yeah, lets build him a memorial for all of the kids to follow.

797 days ago
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