L.A. riot figure Rodney King found drowned in pool
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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/18/2012 (7 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
If a man had not videotaped his brutal beating by four L.A.P.D officers in 1991, Rodney King would have lived a private and anonymous life. Instead, he became a reluctant social activist after the acquittal of the officers sparked the Los Angeles riots of 1992. The 47-yer-old King was found drowned in the pool of his California home. An investigation into the circumstance surrounding his death is now underway.
Many minority rights leaders say the lessons learned from the 1991 beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles by police officers, that in turn led to massive riots in L.A., has led to naught, pointing out to Trayvon Martin's shooting death earlier this year.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - King's fiancée, Cynthia Kelly told Rialto Police she found his body at the bottom of the pool. "[Kelly] was inside the residence, had been sleeping and Mr. King had been carrying conversations with her from the rear patio poolside," investigators say. "She had heard him speaking to her. She got up to go outside to talk with him, at which time she found him at the bottom of the pool."
Many remarked that in the 20 years since King pleaded for blacks and whites to "get along," that more recent cases such as the killing of black Florida teen Trayvon Martin prove that the lessons of King's case have yet to be learned.
King had recently written a book entitled "The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption."
The videotape, when shared with a Los Angeles TV station, sent shock waves around the world, throwing into a stark spotlight of the police brutality as it exists in the U.S. King was turned into an unwilling symbol of the bitter conflict between law enforcement and racial minorities.
"It was his beating that made America focus on the presence of profiling and police misconduct," civil rights advocate the Rev. Al Sharpton said. "History will record that it was Rodney King's beating and his actions that made America deal with the excessive misconduct of law enforcement."
The Reverend Jesse Jackson compared King's case, in which his attackers were acquitted, with the Trayvon Martin case, in which killer George Zimmerman wasn't initially arrested for shooting Martin because of Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law.
"We seem not to have learned the lesson of the ugliness of racial profiling and police brutality and all the pain it causes," he said.
King had led a highly checkered life after the 1991 incident. Re-arrested on a variety of charges, the millions of dollars he was awarded in a civil lawsuit against the police department which was quickly squandered on a record label that quickly went bankrupt.
Days before his death, King released a statement to the media regarding the Trayvon Martin shooting. King said he was "grieving for Trayvon Martin" and stated how the scream on the audio of George Zimmerman's 911 call reminded him of his own screaming during his beating by the LAPD.
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