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1991 LA police beating victim Rodney King found dead

  • Rodney King, the man who came to symbolize racial tensions in the United States after his 1991 beating by police officers led to riots in Los Angeles a year later, has been found dead in a swimming pool in Rialto, California.

    The 47-year-old was discovered on Sunday by his fiancée.

    Police pulled his body from the pool but were unable to resuscitate him. An autopsy is due to be carried out.

    King became known around the world after he and a group of friends were stopped and beaten by Los Angeles police on March 3, 1991, after a high-speed chase.

    A bystander videotaped them leading to a national debate on police brutality and race relations.

    The officers were cleared of brutality charges a year later resulting in a spate of riots in Los Angeles, which left 53 people dead and an estimated $1 billion in damage.

    During the riots, King made a famous televised appeal for calm, saying: "Can we all get along?"

    A jury ordered the city of Los Angeles to pay King $3.8 million in damages.

    King had a history of substance abuse and has appeared on the U.S. cable TV show Celebrity Rehab.

    He is survived by his three children and fiancée Cynthia Kelly.