Rodney King, who became the face of the LA riots when he was mercilessly beaten by LAPD cops in 1991 has died. Rodney King was 47 years old.
Rodney King was brutally beaten by police officer with the LAPD. The 4 Los Angeles police officers hit him more than 50 times with their batons, kicked him and shot him with stun guns. The beating was caught on tape therefore most people assumed that the LAPD cops would be found guilty. Instead 3 officer were acquitted of all charges and the 4th officers trial resulted in a mistrial.
The acquittal sparked the 1992 LA Riots which encompasses three days of extreme violence that resulted in 55 deaths, more than 2,000 people injured. The city of Los Angeles was set ablaze. At the height of the violence, King pleaded on television, “Can we all get along?”
The four officers who beat King — Stacey Koon, Theodore Briseno, Timothy Wind and Laurence Powell — were indicted in the summer of 1992 on federal civil rights charges. Koon and Powell were convicted and sentenced to two years in prison, and King was awarded $3.8 million in damages.
Rodney King has been in trouble with the law numerous both before and after the LA Riots and was on parole at the time of the beating by police.
Circumstances surrounding his death are still sketchy.
Most of the reports are saying his fiance, Cynthia Kelley, found him at the bottom of the pool at 5:25am and called police.
TMZ, however is reporting that according to their source, Cynthia Kelley was telling friends that Rodney King was drinking and smoking marijuana all day. She claims that she went to bed around 2am and then woke up at 5am when she heard him screaming in the backyard. He was naked and she allegedly yelled out, “What’s wrong, Rodney?” She did not help him and instead she went to call the police. Tthen heard a big splash – – so then she went back to look and saw him at the bottom of the pool. She then called the police.
Could Rodney King have been saved by his fiance if she had taken actions when he was reportedly acting erratically. Unfortunately we will never know.