Rodney King, the man who was famously beaten by L.A. police officers after being pulled over in 1991, was found dead this morning.
Early reports say that King’s fiancee found him at the bottom of a pool, and paramedics were unable to revive him. Of course, it’s too early to say whether or not this was an accidental death; WebProNews will report updates as they come.
*UPDATE–August 23, 2012*
Authorities have concluded that King’s death was an accidental drowning, possibly caused by a cardiac event after he mixed alcohol, cocaine, and marijuana.
“Mr. King was in a state of drug- and alcohol-induced delirium at the time of the terminal event and either fell or jumped into the swimming pool,” Rialto Police Captain Randy DeAnda said. “Obviously, the effects of the drugs and alcohol combined precipitated some kind of cardiac arrhythmia, thus incapacitated Mr. King, and he was unable to save himself.”
King found himself at the center of a nation-wide scandal after he was beaten by members of the L.A.P.D. following a high-speed pursuit. The arresting officers originally testified that King was under the influence of PCP when they stopped him, which caused him to have violent behavior. However, a drug test later found that King’s system was free of drugs. The incident was captured on camera, showing the officers beating and using a taser on King, who was on the ground. Those officers were later acquitted, which led to the infamous L.A. riots.
Thousands of people rioted over a period of about a week after that verdict came back, leading to multiple reports of civil unrest that spawned looting, murder, and arson. Ultimately, as many as 53 people died as a result.