Rodney King, LA Riots Figure, Found Dead At 47

47-year-old Rodney King, whose beating by four white Los Angeles police officers in 1991 sparked massive race riots after their acquittal, has been found dead in a swimming pool today, June 17. King’s fiancée, Cynthia Kelly, summoned police in Rialto, California, early this morning; they found him at the bottom of a swimming pool, removed him and sought to revive him. King was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead.

Authorities report “no initial signs of foul play,” says CNN, and will be conducting an investigation.

Kelly was one of the jurors at a lawsuit filed by King against the city of Los Angeles in 1994.

King’s beating by police and the race riots that followed changed not only Los Angeles but also sparked a wrenching national dialogue about race and social inequality in the US.

On March 3, 1991, LA police officers stopped King for speeding. He was struck more than 50 times with batons, kicked and shot with stun guns. Footage of the brutality, which left King with brain damage, was filmed by a bystander and broadcast over the world.

The acquittal of the four police officers on April 29, 1992, led to massive riots in Los Angeles that led to 53 deaths, over 2,300 injured, more than 7,000 fires, over 3,000 businesses damanged and nearly $1 billion in financial losses. After a day of widespread looting and fires, store owners in Los Angeles’ Korean American community, seeing Koreatown abandoned by the police, organized their own security teams and engaged in gunfire battles with looters. The California National Guard was called in as well as Marines from Camp Pendleton.

On the third day of the riots, King appeared at an impromptu new conference in front of his lawyers’ officers and said words would come to emblematize race relations in the US:

“People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along?”

A second trial of the police officers led to two of them being convicted and King being awarded $3.8 million in compensation. An independent commission set up by then US Secretary of State Warren Christopher called for a vast overhaul of the LA police force — which was largely white and male – by increasing multiculturalism and shifting to a more community-focused style of policing. Prior to King’s beating, police officers had often referred to African-Americans as “monkeys” and “gorillas.”

King struggled with alcohol abuse and had published a book in 2012, The Riot Within: My Journey From Rebellion to Redemption. According to CNN, he had recently forgiven the officers who had beaten him:

“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.”


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AP Photo/Matt Sayles, file


Bette M.
Bette M5 years ago

There is a small bit left out of my last comment.
Just look up the author/title & that way one can read
the ending.
I love this for it says so much.

Wherever you are there once was a forest.
Plant & protect Danny's trees for life.
Trees are the lungs of the earth.

Bette M.
Bette M5 years ago

For you..........

The Invitation
Oriah Mountain Dreamer
Canadian Teacher and Author

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dreams
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon...
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life's betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your
fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
be careful
be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand on t

june t.
reft h5 years ago

didn't know he had died - haven't seen anything about it anywhere else yet

Bette M.
Bette M5 years ago

From the pen of one of your own.
Look up "The Pound Cake Speech"
by Bill Cosby.
What do you call one of your own
who points out what it wrong?
And, Bill's own soN was mudered
by a Russian immigrant. Do you
suppose he is carrying a huge
grudge against every white person
walking around!
Bill see's things as they are &
points to the problem.
Bill got it dam well right.
I appaude his conviction & that
speech although other blacks were
enraged by the truth of it all!!

So if you stay mad all your life it
is on you & no one else.

Wherever you go there once was a forest.
Plant & protect Danny's trees for life.
Trees are the lungs of the earth.

Bette M.
Bette M5 years ago

Bette says- 5:50PM PDT on Jun 17, 2012
"So much for what all you
liberals think of who & what
most Americsn blacks are."

Yep. I wrote that you dumbass racist person!!!!!


Wherever you go there once was a forest.
Plant & protect Danny's trees for life.
Trees are the lungs of the earth.

Read more:

Bette M.
Bette M5 years ago

You make me laugh Nyack.......
Did you ever get past your 7th
grade mentality?

Again there is not law that dictates
who we must like, love or even hate.
Apparently you have your very own ideas
of law, moral code & social behavior.
In affect you are a bully who will not
let people believe whatever right or wrong.

Finally, there are five different races on
this planet as a designated distinction
carved out by man:
And if my writing that is racism
to you then you are a severely
disturbed person.
King was black. The incident could
have easily been a white or another
person of any race that got beat
up that night. Or can't you see that?
I've written before on this thread
there are wonderful black people who
would not stoop to King's lifestyle
nor your kind ofinsane ramblings &

You are one sadass human with a huge
mentally arrested developement.
Maybe you need to go smell a rose,
look up to the wonders of a waterfall
in a forest of trees & the sky above.
Might do you some good.

Wherever you go there once was a forest.
Plant & protect Danny's trees for life.
Trees are the lungs of the earth.

Bette M.
Bette M5 years ago

Genuine crack pot!!

Wherever you go there once was a forest.
Plant & protect Danny's trees for life.
Trees are the lungs of the earth.

Bette M.
Bette M5 years ago

Perhaps all African Americans should
now call themselves American instead
of African Americans........
In case you are unaware of it their
is a growing debate over this issue.

Of all the 12 years I've been online I've
never encounters anyone as hateful as you are.......

Wherever you go there once was a forest.
Plant & protect Danny's trees for life.
Trees are the lungs of the earth.

Bette M.
Bette M5 years ago

Nyack.....Keep up you personal uncalled for racist language/attacks against me because there is a legal way of shutting you up......
Nyack wrote:
If you know all about "most blacks", Bette- let me show you what racism looks like.
Below is a totally untrue statement by you Nyack....Where do you get these insane ideas????????
Nyack wrote:
Most whites admire Adolph Hitler, and think like Bette and Charles Mansion.
I sincerely think there are very few white who follow & admire the people you named. All this back & forth commenting is nothing more than purebred slanderous B.S. on your part........I will live free & decide for myself who I choose to be friends with & not as you dictate that I should to please you.

In affect you are acting out the behavior of the very people you say are bad.....Hitler told everyone what to believe. Mugabe murdered 600,000 of his own people for political & social reasons.

Nyack.....You need to get a real grip on your sanity & perpective that not all people think like clones.....Like you want goose steeping robots to your tune.
Maybe you would be happier going back to your roots & people whom you can really relate to & mesmerize with your slanderous mind control ideas.
Bottom line you damned well need a shrink or psychological meds.
It ain't for me.........

Wherever y

donald baumgartner

Just for the record!!!
I have an ex wife that was African- American, had we been married 3-4 months more, i would of had a African- American child.
Probably w/ todays time, I would of had African American Grandchildren, as he would be 28-29 ys old. AND I would of been PROUD OF IT ALL!!
Also, I have Native American people in the northern area od ND, cousin, 2nd cousins, etc. The Aunt & Uncle are deceased.