Rodney King, who became a symbol of civil rights in 1991 after his beating by Los Angeles police was captured on videotape, was found dead Sunday in his swimming pool, reports CNN.com. King, whose taped beating sparked widespread rioting in L.A. after the officers were acquitted in court, was 47.
Police in Rialto, Calif., where King lived, received a 911 call from King’s fiancee, Cynthia Kelly, at about 5:25 a.m. Officers found King at the bottom of the pool, removed him and performed CPR until paramedics arrived, but he was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital, the story says.
Kelly was a juror in King’s lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles in 1994. She told the police he was an "avid swimmer" and had gone into the pool after they had a conversation and she went inside the house, the piece notes.
A toxicology screen will be performed, although Capt. Randy De Anda said he didn’t see any drug paraphernalia "or anything that would indicate that Mr. King was intoxicated," the article notes.
King appeared on the VH1 reality show "Celebrity Rehab." Bob Forrest, a drug counselor and musician who worked with King on the show, said King had struggled with sobriety.
"He was a wonderful, kind and gentle man," said Dr. Drew Pinsky of "Celebrity Rehab." "He was at the center of a maelstrom and was able to maintain dignity and really keep his head high in a way that was an example for all of us."