Rodney King Dead at 47 [VIDEO]
Rodney King, the man whose videotaped beating by Los Angeles police officers in 1991 sparked some of the deadliest race riots in U.S. history, was found dead on Sunday, Reuters reported. He was 47.
King was found dead in a pool and there were no signs of foul play, Reuters reported, citing California police.
King was beaten by Los Angeles Police Department officers on March 3, 1991. A bystander videotaped much of the incident from a distance.
Twenty years after Los Angeles police officers were acquitted of charges they brutally beat motorist Rodney King, TODAY’s Lester Holt looked back at the case and how it changed the Los Angeles police department and how Americans view the justice system.
Violence broke out after a California jury acquitted three white and one Hispanic Los Angeles police officers in his beating.
The riots that erupted on April 29, 1992, were among the most lethal in U.S. history. By the time order was restored, 53 people had died, nearly 3,000 people were injured and thousands of businesses were damaged or destroyed.
Nearly a year later, a federal jury convicted two of the police officers of a federal charge of violating King’s civil rights and sentenced them to 30 months in prison. Two other officers were acquitted. King eventually received a $3.8 million settlement from the city, and the case led to sweeping changes in LAPD.
King had recently been promoting his just-published memoir, “The Riot Within: My Journey From Rebellion to Redemption.”