Rodney King, whose videotaped beating by four police officers eventually sparked violent riots in Los Angeles two decades ago, was found dead in his swimming pool by his fiance, Cynthia Kelly. She called 911 at 5:25 am after discovering his body.
King was thrust into the national spotlight in March 1991 after a videotaped assault at the hands of the LAPD made headlines. Four officers were charged with King’s assault and with exessive use of force. Their acquittal on April 29, 1992 led to intense riots in Los Angeles, resulting in 53 deaths.
King fought a life-long battle with alcoholism, and had periodic run-ins with the law since the 1991 incident.
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