The man whose videotaped beating at the hands of Los Angeles Police thugs sparked the L.A. riots of 1992 has died.
--RODNEY KING was found dead at the bottom of his swimming pool early Sunday morning. He was 47. His fiancée Cynthia Kelley called police at about 5:30 A.M., after finding his body.
--Police pulled him out and administered CPR, but were unsuccessful. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 6:11.
--Rodney had just published a book in April called "The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption".
--A rep for his publisher, Harper Collins, said, quote, "I spoke with him about a week ago. He was really happy, upbeat and engaged. We were talking about him doing college lectures.
--"He'd already gotten an offer from one college and we were hoping to get more. He was really excited. He loved talking to kids."
--But according to TMZ, Rodney's fiancée is telling her friends that he had been drinking all day Saturday, and smoked pot at some point during the day.
--He went to bed at 2:00 in the morning, but he woke her up three hours later by screaming in the backyard. He was naked. Cynthia reportedly went to get a phone, then heard a splash. She ran out to the backyard to find him in the bottom of the pool.
--The riot that ensued when the four LAPD officers who beat Rodney were acquitted caused $1 billion in property damage. Fifty-three people died and thousands more were injured.
--Rodney later won $3.8 million in a civil suit against the city, but he was left with permanent brain damage from the beating.
--He was arrested several times in the ensuing years. In 1995, he was charged with hit-and-run for knocking his then-wife down with his car.
--He went on to become yet another not-so-successful graduate of DR. DREW'S "Celebrity Rehab" scam.
--His fiancée Cynthia Kelley was one of the jurors in his civil trial.
--If you don't think Rodney King's death was a tragedy, then consider this: In August, he was going to box JOSE CANSECO. (???)
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