Rodney King, the man who was brutally beaten at the hands of 4 L.A. Police Officers, which later sparked the infamous 1992 L.A. riots, has passed away at the age of 47.
King’s fiancée called 911 around 5:25am this morning and said she had found him at the bottom of their pool. When help arrived, they pulled him out of the pool and tried CPR until the paramedics arrived. They took him to a local hospital and pronounced him dead at 6:11am. Preliminary information says that King did in fact drowned and there were no signs of foul play.
King has been in the news in the past two decades for his addiction to alcohol and drugs. He was awarded $3.8 million in a settlement in 1992 for his role with the beatings, but was quoted in April saying he was broke.
He claimed he was a recovering addict, yet did not stop drinking and held a doctor issued medical marijuana card. Many saw King on the VH1 reality show, Celebrity Rehab, where he was battling his alcoholism. “He was a wonderful, kind and gentle man,” said Dr. Drew Pinsky of Celebrity Rehab. “He was at the center of a maelstrom and was able to maintain dignity and really keep his head high in a way that was an example for all of us.”
When asked earlier this year about the traumatic event, King told CNN, “Yes, I’ve forgiven them, because I’ve been forgiven many times. My country’s been good to me. This country is my house, it’s the only home I know, so I have to be able to forgive—for the future, for the younger generation coming behind me, so they can understand it and if a situation like that happened again, they could deal with it a lot easier.”