In a frantic 911 call early Sunday, Rodney King's fiancee, Cynthia Kelley, described how she discovered King's body at the bottom of his pool and made repeated efforts "to wake him up," but there was no response to her efforts.
An autopsy to determine why Rodney King was found dead in his swimming pool began Monday morning, but it will be several weeks before the findings are made public, a San Bernadino County, California, coroner's spokeswoman said Monday.
The Los Angeles riots 20 years ago this week were sparked by the acquittal of four L.A. police officers in the brutal beating of suspect Rodney King a year earlier. The turbulence that led to more than 50 deaths and $1 billion in property damage all began with a traffic violation.
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.
In 1988, the West Coast hip-hop group N.W.A released a provocative song called "F**k tha Police," which stirred controversy and marked it as one of the most high-profile examples of tension between the black community in Los Angeles and authorities.
Rodney King, whose videotaped beating by police led to the 1992 Los Angeles riots, pleaded guilty Monday to misdemeanor reckless driving in connection with his arrest in Moreno Valley last summer on suspicion of driving under the influence.
In the past, people seemed to require a massive "cue" to form a mob. The New York blackouts of the summer of 1977 resulted in citywide looting, not just because alarm systems were down, but because a whole lot of hot, angry, frustrated people had an excuse to act en masse. Likewise, the verdict on the Rodney King trial served as a spark, synchronizing simultaneous explosions of mob behavior in a dozen North American cities.
Rodney King, whose videotaped beating by police led to the 1992 Los Angeles riots, says he was under the influence of a "medical marijuana prescription" when police booked him this week on suspicion of driving while impaired.
The beating of Rodney King 20 years ago Thursday marked the end of a 100-mph car chase and the beginning of a chain of events that would forever change Los Angeles, its police department and the racial conversation in the United States.
One benefit of not being a comic-book fanboy or -girl is the immunity such dispassion grants: No blood-pressure crises are likely to arise over arguments pertaining to whether "Batman Begins" lives up to the franchise launched 16 years ago by director Tim Burton and Batman No. 1, Michael Keaton, then sullied -- tsk! -- eight years ago by director Joel Schumacher and Batman No. 3, George Clooney, with that unholy nippled Batsuit.