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Rodney King Dead at 47

Rodney King, whose beating by Los Angeles police helped spark the 1992 riots, died early this morning in an apparent drowning, police said. He was 47.

His fiancee found him unconcious in the swimming pool of his Rialto home about 5:25 a.m., Capt. Randy DeAnda told City News Service.

Cops said he was taken to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center and that ...

... the San Bernardino County coroner's office would conduct an autopsy within 48 hours.

He was pronounced dead at the medical center at 6:11 a.m., authorities said.

Officers in uniform who responded to the home on Jackson Street near Baseline Road actually jumped into the water in an attempt to save him, CNS reported. His fiancee had also jumped in and tried to resuscitate him.

Following the April 29, 1992 acquittal of the four cops accused of beating King, riots erupted in Los Angeles, and King emerged as a would-be peacemaker, though his words ("Can we all get along") seemed to have little affect.

He was pummeled by the officers' battons on March 3, 1991 following a high-speed pursuit of King as he drove his Hyundai. A bystander captured the beating on video, and that footage was eventually aired on L.A. TV.

Following the beating and the riots, King had several run-ins with officers and admitted that he had troubles with drugs and alcohol.

In spring, L.A. reflected on the 20th anniversary of the riots. King released a book, The Riot Within: My Journey From Rebellion to Redemption.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]