Rodney King’s historic statement, and the tragic events that preceded them, were one of the central inspirations for the most popular post I’ve ever written for this blog: Black On The Right Side. They were also present, in my mind, all during the writing of Tolerance… Not! Race, where I recounted many of my own painful experiences while growing up in an effort to expose the fundamentally counter-productive nature of racism amidst my fears of a racist backlash after the election of President Obama.
Well, the obvious yet barely mentioned racist backlash against President Obama goes on, but poor Rodney, at least, won’t have to watch it play out any longer.
Los Angeles (CNN) — Rodney King, whose beating by Los Angeles police in 1991 was caught on camera and sparked riots after the acquittal of the four officers involved, was found dead in his swimming pool Sunday, authorities and his fiancee said. He was 47.
Police in Rialto, California, received a 911 call from King’s fiancee, Cynthia Kelly, about 5:25 a.m., said Capt. Randy DeAnda. Responding officers found King at the bottom of the pool, removed him and attempted to revive him. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital, DeAnda said.
There were no preliminary signs of foul play, he said, and no obvious injuries on King’s body. Police are conducting a drowning investigation, DeAnda said, and King’s body would be autopsied.
“His fiancee heard him in the rear yard,” he said, and found King in the pool when she went outside.
Kelly was a juror in King’s lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles in 1994.
Rest in peace Rodney.
I want ice water.
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