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Rodney King

Autopsy Report Prompts

Family Health Scare

8/26/2012 2:35 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Rodney King
's family believes R.K.'s autopsy report contains a key piece of information about Rodney's health that could save their own lives ... and it centers around his heart.

A member of the King family tells TMZ ... the coroner explained how Rodney suffered from an enlarged heart before his death ... a condition that has grave consequences if left untreated.

While Rodney's heart condition wasn't the main cause of his death (see: drowning, cocaine, PCP, alcohol) multiple members of his family view the discovery of King's cardiomegaly as a "wake up call" to get themselves checked out.

One family member who didn't want to be identified tells us, "I never knew he had heart trouble. I am worried that I could be at risk as well and I'm making a doctor's appointment next week."

The family member adds, "I am going to pass the message to the rest of the family that we need to get checked up so we don't die young."

Rodney King Death Report

PCP, Coke, Weed, Booze

8/23/2012 9:27 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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10:17 AM PT --
In the report, the coroner says King was "in a state of drug and alcohol induced delirium" at the time of his death ... and either fell or jumped into the swimming pool.

The report continues, "The effects of the drugs and alcohol, combined with [King's preexisting heart condition] probably precipitated a cardiac arrhythmia and [King], thus incapacitated, was unable to save himself and drowned."

According to the report, King was naked and face down at the deep end of the pool when officials arrived on scene.

Cops also found a pitchfork, a hoe and a vaccuum pool sweeper in the pool ... which King's GF used to try and fish Rodney out of the water. The GF told cops she didn't go in after Rodney because she is not a good swimmer and was afraid to enter the water.

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Rodney King
 was under the influence of SEVERAL substances at the time of his death -- including alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, and PCP -- this according to Rodney's death report.

According to the report, the cause of death is listed as accidental drowning -- but the drugs were contributing factors.

The PCP is interesting because there was a theory around the time of the 1991 beating that Rodney displayed super-human strength because he was on PCP at the time. However, blood tests for the drug turned up negative.

TMZ broke the story ... King's fiancee discovered his body at the bottom of the pool at the couple's home in Rialto, CA on June 17.

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.

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Rodney King Funeral

Rev. Sharpton Calls Him

'Symbol of Forgiveness'

6/30/2012 2:22 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0630_rodney_king_funeralRodney King was laid to rest today at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, where such notable names as Michael Jackson, Andy Gibb, Liberace, and Ed McMahon were laid to rest.

The family held a private funeral early in the day, and then a public memorial and burial

Rev. Al Sharpton, who delivered the eulogy, said of King, "People should not be judged by the mistakes that they make, but by how they rise above them. Rodney had risen above his mistakes, he never mocked anyone, not the police, not the justice system, not anyone."

During the service, a slideshow of King's life played above an open casket. His fiancée Cynthia Kelley did not attend.

King died at his home in Rialto, CA on June 17. He was 47.

Rodney King's Family

We Need HELP

with Funeral Costs

6/25/2012 10:55 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Rodney King was not a wealthy man when he died ... and now his family is asking the public for donations so they can pay for a proper burial for the infamous LAPD beating victim.

Despite the fact King scored a $3.8 million settlement from the City of L.A. after the 1992 incident, King's family tells TMZ ... there is basically no money left over to pay for his funeral costs, which are expected to run north of $22k. 

The family has now issued a statement, through their rep, Kali Bowyer, asking people to contribute to a memorial fund established "for those who wish to contribute to the King family."

King's 3 adult daughters, along with other family members, are desperately trying to come up with the cash ... but Bowyer tells us, "They need the money."

King is scheduled to be laid to rest on June 30.

As far as the mystery surrounding Rodney's death, the family says, "[We are] looking forward to a swift investigation into the death of our father, as well as we put our faith in the authorities responsible for handling the matter."

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Rodney King's Fiancee

Not Invited to Funeral

6/23/2012 6:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0622_rodney_king_fianceeRodney King's fiancée Cynthia Kelley is not invited to his funeral services -- King family sources tell TMZ.

According to sources, the services will be held next Saturday in Hollywood -- but the family hasn't contacted Cynthia since the day after Rodney died ... and doesn't plan to.

We're told Cynthia hasn't made any efforts to make arrangements for Rodney -- so the family doesn't feel the need to reach out.

We're told the family is also still skeptical about Cynthia's story -- that she heard Rodney banging on the window around 5 AM Sunday and then heard him fall in the pool.

The family doesn't believe Rodney drowned on his own because -- as one source put it -- Rodney was always a great swimmer.

Some family members don't have any hard feelings toward Cynthia -- but we're told many don't want to speak to her until an official cause of death has been released.

Our law enforcement sources say Rodney's death is still being investigated as an accident, and there are no signs of foul play. Attempts to reach Cynthia were unsuccessful.

Rodney King's Buds

He Was a Professional

Weed Smoker

6/22/2012 4:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Rodney King was an expert pot smoker ... and there's no way marijuana could have caused him to go off the hinges and act like a maniac on the night he died ... so say King's smoking buddies, who run his local weed dispensary.

Ever since investigators were pictured removing a cannabis plant from King's home this week, there have been suspicions that weed may have contributed to his death ... or at least caused Rodney to exhibit some bizarre behavior on the night he died ... including loud crying spells and banging on the windows of his home.

TMZ spoke with the people who run Arrow Alternative Remedies in San Bernardino, CA ... who tell us Rodney was a regular ... and even served as a celebrity "bud tender" during special events.

The pot people tell us ... "We used to smoke tons of weed with Rodney and not once was he too belligerent to function."

One pot pro also notes, "I never saw him come into the shop on alcohol or hard drugs."

"Honestly, he was a great guy and was starting to get back on track with his new book."

As TMZ first reported, Rodney died on Sunday ... but his legacy will live on in the pot shop -- where his old pals have already named a strain of weed after the guy ... "Rodney King OG."

Rodney King OG weed

Rodney King Death

The 911 Call

6/19/2012 3:45 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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TMZ has obtained the emotional 911 call placed by Rodney King's fiancee moments after she discovered his body at the bottom of his pool in Rialto, CA Sunday.

When asked to identify the body, his fiancee Cynthia Kelley tells the operator, "He's Rodney King. The guy that got beat by the police."

The operator asks if Kelley can go in and get King's body -- Kelley tearfully replies she can't swim. Kelley says she tried to rescue King with objects surrounding the pool -- including a shovel -- but he wasn't moving.

TMZ broke the story, Kelley told cops she heard King banging on the window around 5AM, then heard him fall in the pool. She also said he had been drinking and smoking weed soon before his death.

Right now, King's death is still being investigated as an accident -- but King's friends believe foul play was involved.

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Rodney King

Wanted to Dump Fiancée

Before Death

6/19/2012 1:27 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Rodney King
's closest friend tells TMZ ... he's asked cops to take a closer look at King's fiancée -- because their relationship was volatile to the point King wanted to break up with her.

Damon Feldman -- who worked with King on the celebrity boxing circuit and has known him for years -- tells us King complained to him in recent weeks that his relationship with fiancée Cynthia Kelley was out of control and he needed to get away from her.

Feldman was one of the friends who called police after King's death and said he didn't believe Kelley's story.

Feldman's got a bad feeling about Kelley's explanation of King's death -- and he thinks police should take a close look at her relationship with King.

As we reported, Kelley told cops she heard Rodney banging on the window around 5 AM Sunday and then heard him fall in the pool. Cops insist they have no reason to doubt what she said.

Calls to Kelley weren't returned.

Rodney King Death

Cops Believe Fiancee

6/18/2012 4:32 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0618_rodney_king_Cynthia_Kelley_tmzPolice do NOT believe Rodney King's fiancee is hiding information about his death.

Law enforcement sources at the Rialto PD tell TMZ ... they've concluded Cynthia Kelley has been "cooperative and forthright" in her account of the events leading up to Rodney King's death.

As TMZ reported, several of King's friends tell us Kelley changed her story several times -- that she heard Rodney banging on the window at around 5 AM Sunday and then heard him fall in the pool.  The 2 friends spoke with cops, expressing doubt about her story.

Our law enforcement sources say they have no reason to question Kelley's honesty.  As one law enforcement source said, "People in the neighborhood are just speculating."

Our sources say as of now, this is still being investigated as an accidental death with no foul play.  There are no suspects or people of interest.

Rodney King

Weed Plants, Pitchfork

Confiscated from Home

6/18/2012 2:38 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0618_rodney_king_death_scene_launchCops have confiscated weed plants and a pitchfork from Rodney King's home as evidence in the death investigation.

Cops are also looking into reports that Rodney was crying uncontrollably shortly before his next-door neighbor heard a splash.

Rodney's fiancee reportedly told police she didn't try to pull Rodney from the pool because she's a poor swimmer.

Meanwhile, the coroner has completed the autopsy on King's body ... but will not announce an official cause of death until additional toxicology tests and tissue studies have been performed.

The results usually take between 4 to 6 weeks.

A rep for the San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department tells us, "There will be no final ruling as to the cause and manner of death until the requested test results have been received and reviewed in context with the autopsy findings."

TMZ broke the story ... King's fiancee discovered his body at the bottom of the pool at the couple's home in Rialto, CA on Sunday morning.

King's fiancee insists Rodney had been drinking and smoking pot in the hours before his death -- and believes his death was accidental. However, people close to Rodney are concerned she's not telling the whole story.

Stay tuned ...

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Rodney King

Friends Are Not Buying

Fiancee's Death Story

6/18/2012 5:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0617_rodney_king_tmzTwo close friends of Rodney King think his fiancée isn't telling the truth about what happened leading up to his death ... and they've voiced their suspicions to cops, TMZ has learned. 

As TMZ first reported, King's fiancee, Cynthia Kelley, says she was awakened by the sound of King banging on the window of their home just after 5:00 AM on Sunday ... and then heard him fall in the pool. 

But sources close to King tell TMZ they heard Kelley tell the story several times to friends ... only the story changed a little bit each time and it seemed to them that she was lying about something.

We're told two of Kelley's friends who spoke with her in the hours following King's death have gone to police and spoke to a detective. Our source says the detective took down their story and their information and said he would be in touch. 

Rialto PD say so far they have discovered no signs of foul play, but they are conducting a drowning investigation and will perform an autopsy at some point.

Don Cheadle

L.A. is Still Recovering

from Rodney King Beating

6/18/2012 4:25 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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The issue of race relations is the "biggest thing we have to deal with as a society in the United States and probably the world" ... so says Don Cheadle.

The Academy Award nominated actor -- who was named the U.N. Environment Program Goodwill Ambassador in 2010 -- was hangin' in L.A. this weekend when we asked about the impact Rodney King had on the city of L.A.

Cheadle believes King's legacy will be a "mixed bag" ... and says the infamous beating incident is "something we can hopefully reflect on and try to move past."

"I mean hopefully, we've gotten past that ... but still a lotta stuff to work out obviously."

TMZ broke the story ... King died this weekend at his home in Rialto, CA.

Rodney King

Dead at 47

6/17/2012 10:43 AM 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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