LOS ANGELES (CBS4) – It was just after 5 a.m. Sunday near Los Angeles when Rodney King was found dead at his home in the deep end of the pool.
“It appears that this is a drowning,” said Rialto Police Dept. Capt. Randy DeAnda. “There were no obvious sings of foul plan and there were no obvious signs of trauma to Mr. King’s body.”
Investigators said King had been sitting outside in the wee hours of the morning, talking to his fiancé.
“During one of the conversations with him, she had gone back into the residence and heard a splash,” DeAnda said. “She came out to see what had happened and saw Mr. King at the bottom of the pool.”
King became a household name when home video surfaced in 1991, showing several Los Angeles police officers hitting him with clubs. When those officers were acquitted in court. The reaction was violent. It touched off three days of rioting, leaving 55 people dead, more than 2000 injured and parts of Los Angeles on fire. Then King made, what is now, a famous plea for clam. “People,” he pleaded, “I just want to say, can we all get along? Can we all get along? “
In the two decades following, King had been arrested several times, mostly for alcohol related offenses. But just a couple months ago, he went on tour, promoting his book, “The Riot Within.” In one of his recent interviews, he once again repeated his famous plea, “Can we all just get along! That’s how I would like to be remembered after I’m dead and gone.”
The medical examiner’s office will conduct and autopsy and will check to see if drugs or alcohol may have been involved.