Rodney King, Who Was Viciously Beaten by Four White LAPD Officers in 1991, Found Dead at Age 47.
Rodney King, who was beaten by police officers in Los Angeles in 1991, was found dead at the bottom of a swimming pool by his fiancee, Cynthia Kelley.
He was 47. The officers involved in the vicious beating, who were identified as Theodore Briseno, Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind and Sgt. Stacey Koon, were acquitted by a jury, sparking the Los Angeles riots.
Rodney King, who was on parole in 1991, was beaten so bad by the four white officers, surgeons had to operate on him for five hours to save his life.
The beating was caught on an amateur cameraman and forever changed Los Angeles. The officers struck King more than 50 times with their wooden batons and used a stun gun on him. King said as the officers beat him they shouted, “We are going to kill you, nigger,” though they denied using racial slurs. The video shows King cowering on the ground and attempting to crawl away during the beating.
The officers were indicted on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and excessive use of force by a police officer. They were acquitted after a three month-long trial by a white jury, sparking riots in 1992.
He has struggled in recent years with domestic violence charges and driving under the influence. TMZ reports police responded to a call at King’s Rialto home at 5:25 a.m. PST, and physically removed him from the pool and attempted CPR. He was pronounced dead at 6:11 a.m. TMZ is also reporting Cynthia Kelley told friends King had been drinking all day Saturday and even smoked marijuana hours before his death.