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Rodney King Found Dead in Pool at 47
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Rodney King spoke with the Los Angeles Times not too long before his death this past Sunday and came across very contemplative about his role as a symbol of police abuse and racial tensions in the United States. King was pulled over by members of the Los Angeles Police Department for speeding and was beaten during the traffic stop more than 20 years ago. King was beaten so badly he almost lost his life. The entire incident was caught on tape by a bystander who happened to hear the commotion while inside his home. The video was sent to local television stations by the civilian, which was aired all over the country for an entire year.

Four of the officers involved in the beating were charged with the use of excessive force but were acquitted on April 29, 1992, causing the worst urban riots in United States history. This year was the 20th anniversary of the beating, which led many reporters to show up at King’s home asking for interviews. His book, ‘The Riot Within,’ was also recently published. King told reporters that he was starting to accept the broader legacy of his life.

  
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“Yes, I would go through that night, yes I would. I said once that I wouldn’t, but that’s not true,” King said when he talked to the Los Angeles Times. “It changed things. It made the world a better place.”

King appeared as someone who was still haunted by the past and the expectations placed on him during his interviews conducted by the Los Angeles Times this year. King has said repeatedly that he suffered from flashbacks and nightmares because of the beating. He also said that he drank and smoked marijuana. King has said that he tried various things to calm his nerves such as fishing in a lake or going for a swim in his pool.

“I sometimes feel like I’m caught in a vise,” he said. “Some people feel like I’m some kind of hero. Others hate me. They say I deserved it. Other people, I can hear them mocking me for when I called for an end to the destruction, like I’m a fool for believing in peace.”

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King was found dead at the bottom of his pool at the age of 47 on Sunday morning. His home is in Rialto. Police have already said that there was no evidence of foul play and that the death is being investigated as an accidental drowning. Cynthia Kelley, King’s fiancé, found King close to 5 a.m. on Sunday morning. Kelley told police that she was talking with King every so often through a sliding glass door at the home. At one point, Kelley said she heard a splash and ran outside to find King submerged in the deep end of the pool. Kelley told police she called 911 because she cannot swim well. When King was pulled from the pool his body showed no signs of life, according to the police.





 

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