The man who became the face of the infamous Los Angeles Riots, Rodney King, was found dead this morning in Rialito, California. Rodney, who was 47, was found at the bottom of his pool by his fiancée, Cynthia Kelley, a woman who was one of the jurors in his trial. After the paramedics rushed over, they removed Rodney from the pool and began performing CPR. He was pronounced dead at 6:11 A.M. According to reports, the Rialito police department will investigate if there was drowning involved, however they say there have been no signs of foul play. Sources say that, Rodney, who had been battling with sobriety for years, had been drinking and smoking marijuana the day prior to this death. Law enforcement officials will also lead an investigation to see if drugs and alcohol were involved in his death.
Rodney King will always be remembered as the man who started the revolution against police brutality and racism in America. His story opened up the discussion on civil rights, racial profiling, and the abuse of power within our country. He was the victim of a horrifying police beating by the LAPD, of which was caught on tape. The verdict that acquitted the four white officers who beat Rodney was the start to the violent uproar that has forever changed our history.
Reverend Al Sharpton released a statement today in light of the unfortunate news, “History will record that it was Rodney King’s beating and his actions that made America deal with the excessive misconduct of law enforcement.”
Earlier this year, Rodney released a statement addressing his forgiveness for the officers who brutalized him:
“Yes, I’ve forgiven them, because I’ve been forgiven many times,” he said. “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.”
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Rodney’s friends and family. His story will never be forgotten. Rest In Peace. Rest Easy.
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