Rodney King dead at 47


Rodney King at a press conference in Beverly Hills on May 1, 1992, where he called for an end to violence in the city.



Rodney King, whose beating by Los Angeles police in 1991 sparked race riots in the city after the four officers involved were acquitted, has been found dead aged 47.

According to Fox News, King’s fiancée Cynthia Kelly found him at the bottom of a swimming pool at his Rialto, California home on Sunday morning.

She called 911 but responding police officers were unable to revive him, and he was pronounced dead at a local hospital, CNN reported. There was no sign of any foul play.

More from GlobalPost: Rodney King looks back on the LA riots 20-year anniversary

A bystander videotaped LAPD officers beating King following a high-speed car chase on March 3, 1991, and the footage was subsequently broadcast around the planet, provoking outrage. The 1992 acquittal of the officers involved led to clashes between black youths and police forces in which more than 50 people died and thousands were injured, the BBC reported.

King won a $3.8 million lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles after being brain damaged in the attack. Asked ahead of this year’s 20th anniversary of the LA riots about his feelings towards the officers who had attacked him, King said:

"I have forgiven, because America has forgiven me for so many things and given me so many chances… I have much respect for (the police), much respect... some of them went out of their way over the years to try to make it up to me,” Sky News reported