Neighbors of Rodney King, the man whose videotaped beating by LAPD officers sparked the LA Riots, say they heard a “commotion” coming from his Rialto, California home the night before he was found dead Sunday morning.
According to TMZ sources, King’s fiancée Cynthia Kelley found him at the bottom of his pool Sunday. He was pronounced dead at 6:11 AM.
Law enforcement sources say Rialto PD will open a drowning investigation, but so far there are no signs of foul play.
Neighbor Sandra Garcia told the LA Times she heard the sounds of sobbing coming from the home Saturday night. “There was a lot of moaning and crying,” she said.
Another neighbor, Bob Carlberg, said he heard “yelling back and forth. I couldn’t quite make it out.”
Police found the 47-year-old King lying motionless at the bottom of the pool.
Ms. Kelley, who was a member of the jury that awarded King $3.8 million in a settlement, told friends she awoke to the sound of King yelling in the backyard. He had been drinking all day and smoking weed.
She said he was naked and banging on the glass. But she didn’t get up to see what the commotion was. Later she said she heard a loud splash.
Kelley dialed 911 at 5:11 a.m. to report King was at the bottom of the pool. Police arrived within minutes and dived into the pool to retrieve King’s body.
The acquittal of four LAPD officers accused in the videotaped beating of King sparked the 1992 Los Angeles riots that left 53 dead and thousands more injured. 4,000 National Guardsmen were called out to help put an end to 6 days of violence and looting.
King, who had past convictions for assault, battery and robbery, made an impassioned plea to rioters, included his now famous quote: “Can’t we all just get along?”
In 2009 King was awarded $3.8 in a settlement for violating his civil rights. He became engaged to one of the jurors who awarded him the money. In 2007 King was shot multiple times in the face, arms, back and torso during a domestic dispute.