Murder, suicide or an accident? Cops want more answers after finding the body Sunday morning of Rodney King and now friends say his fiancee is lying about how he died. You may remember, King’s videotaped 1991 beating by white Los Angeles police officers led to the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
The 47-year-old King was discovered at his home in in Rialto, California, by his fiancée Cynthia Kelley, at around 5.25am. She allegedly told friends he had been drinking all day and had also smoked marijuana.
She called 911 and officers arrived to find King still in the water at the bottom of the swimming pool.
They dived in still wearing their uniforms to recover the body of the man who had become a symbol of racial tensions and police brutality here in America.
CPR was performed on the scene but he was pronounced dead at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center at 6.11am. Two of Rodney King’s close friends think his fiancée, Cynthia Kelley, is lying about what happened in the hours before his death. Friends heard her tell the story a few times and say she altered it just a bit each time, they fear she’s hiding something. Now cops have launched an in-depth investigation in his mysterious death.
According to LA Times, she was woken by the sound of him screaming in the back yard. She said that he was naked and banging on the glass. When she asked him what was wrong, the divorced father-of-three did not respond. Shortly afterwards she heard a splash and went out to discover him in the swimming pool.
There were conflicting reports but police were conducting an investigation based on the theory that he had drowned. Police Captain Randy DeAnda said that they would await autopsy results to determine whether drugs, alcohol or foul play were involved.
On March 3, 1991, King was beaten by Los Angeles Police Department officers after a high-speed car chase, an infamous case of police brutality that was captured on camera by a bystander and broadcast around the world.
The following year, 4 officers were tried for the assault but were acquitted, a decision that sparked the 1992 Los Angeles riots where more than 50 people died.
After three days of unrest, King pleaded with the public for peace and famously said, “Can we all get along?” Two of the officers were later found guilty of civil rights violations in a federal court and jailed. The other two officers were again acquitted.
The violence directed at King, a motorist who had been pursued by Los Angeles police, caused national outrage, and led to changes in law enforcement training and tactics. King a father of 3 had for years fought a never ending battle with alcoholism. Ms. Kelley, one of the jurors in the civil rights case against the city of LA that gave King $3.8 million in damages.
Meanwhile, in the Los Angeles Times, Kurt Streeter recalls his series of interviews with King this year, and writes that King was still drinking and still smoking pot (for medical reasons, he said).
In his autobiography, The Riot Within, King said that the course of his life had been changed by that night. In the two decades since the attack, he had been arrested 11 times for domestic violence, assault, drug use and DUI.
Everyone keeps asking – did Rodney King have ANY money left from the settlement?
He only had a very small mutual fund according to his manager. Most of his $3.8 million went to paying his lawyers, then suing his lawyers and then paying for their counter suit, crashing cars and then partying away his cash on drugs and alcohol. He lived in a small ranch house with sheets for curtains and was driving a 1990s car until July 2011 when he was again arrested for DUI, no license so that car is now gone.
JUST FYI…..according to Forbes magazine...Had he even invested $1.5 million at 6% compounded monthly he could have had $90,000 a year alone in interest to live off of. (LA Times)