Rodney King, victim of the police brutality that spawned the 1992 L.A. riots, was found dead in his home on Sunday morning. He was 47.
TMZ is reporting King was found at the bottom of his pool by his fiancée at their home some time around 5:30 a.m. Paramedics announced his time of death officially at 6:11 a.m.
The officers who beat King were acquitted in 1992, inciting what came to be known as the L.A. riots. The L.A. Times spoke with King in April for the 20th anniversary of the riots, and King said this when asked about how he's sometimes portrayed as a civil rights leader:
You don't want to let anybody's expectations down. People look at me like I should have been like Malcolm X or Martin Luther King or Rosa Parks. I should have seen life like that and stay out of trouble, and don't do this and don't do that. But it's hard to live up to some people's expectations, which [I] wasn't cut out to be. I didn't go to school to be "Rodney King" and [be] beat up by cops and thrust into the limelight. It's taken years to get used to the situation I'm in in life and the weight it holds. One of the cops in the jail [in a later encounter] said: You know what? People are going to know who you are when you're dead and gone. A hundred years from now, people still going to be talking about you. It's scary, but at the same time it's a blessing.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.