Breaking: Rodney King Dead, Iconic Police Beating Victim Dies of Accidental Drowning

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ABC News reports:

Police have opened an investigation into the apparent drowning of Rodney King, the man who emerged as a reluctant “countercultural hero” after four LAPD officers brutally beat him in 1991.

King, 47, had been outside his house most of the night, his fiancée, Cynthia Kelly, told Rialto Police Capt. Randy De Anda after she reported finding his body at the bottom of the pool at his California home.

“[Kelly] was inside the residence, had been sleeping and Mr. King had been carrying conversations with her from the rear patio poolside,” De Anda said. “She had heard him speaking to her. She got up to go outside to talk with him, at which time she found him at the bottom of the pool.

Here’s the AP’s short video report with some background on King’s infamous 1991 beating by LA police officers after a high-speed chase:

Here’s a short segment of video from Rodney King’s iconic public plea to rioters who devastated parts of Los Angeles for six days in 1992 after a trial by jury acquitted the officers on charges of excessive force: “Can we all just get along?”

We offer our best thoughts and condolences for the family and those personally affected by Rodney King’s untimely death.

In just a few hours, his memory has already focused national attention on the controversial police and criminal justice issues still facing our nation twenty years after Rodney King became a household name.