Rodney King Found Dead in Swimming Pool

Dylan Stableford, Yahoo! News, June 17, 2012

Rodney King, whose videotaped beating by police in 1991 led to the L.A. riots, was found dead at his California home on Sunday. He was 47.

Police said King’s fiancée discovered him at the bottom of the swimming pool at their Rialto, Calif., home, about 55 miles east of Los Angeles.


King’s representative Suzanne Wickman confirmed to his death to KABC-TV. According to TMZ, King’s fiancée, Cynthia Kelly, told friends King spent the bulk of Saturday drinking and “smoked marijuana at some point,” before she went to went to bed at 2:00 a.m.

The cause of death is unknown, but police are investigating it as a drowning. {snip}

Kelly—a juror in King’s lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles in 1994—told police King was an “avid swimmer,” but she was not, CNN said.

King was beaten by four white LAPD officers following a DUI stop on March 3, 1991. Footage captured by an amateur videographer showed the officers hitting King 56 times with wooden batons.


The four officers—Theodore Briseno, Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind and Sgt. Stacey Koon—were acquitted of criminal charges, sparking the riots that left 55 people dead. (Koon and Powell were later found guilty of federal civil rights charges and sentenced to 30 months in prison.)


During the five-day riots—marked by widespread looting, arson and racially-charged beatings throughout South Central L.A.—King made his famous public plea for peace: “People, I just want to say, can we all get along? Can we get along?”


King had long struggled with alcohol abuse, much of it detailed in his 2012 memoir, “The Riot Within.” According to KABC, he was arrested or detained by police at least a dozen times on charges ranging from DUI to domestic violence.

In 2011—the 20th anniversary of his beating—King was arrested in California on suspicion of DUI.


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  • chuck_2011

    the headline should read “Another Useless T**D Drowns” Society is better for it. 

    • Oil Can Harry

      Rodney would still be alive if he’d only asked Ted Kennedy for swimming lessons…

  • Hope Floats

    • Rocky Bass,

       Luckily turds don’t!

  • Screamin_Ruffed_Grouse

    In 1991, Rodney King proved that getting high (meth, was it? Refresh my memory), speeding through a residential zone and swinging at the cops when they pull you over is a really bad idea. 21 years later, he proved that getting drunk/stoned and going swimming is an equally bad idea.

    Thanks for the heads-up, Rod!

    • blight14

       PCP I believe………

      • Screamin_Ruffed_Grouse

         Now that I think about it, I believe you’re right. Thanks.

  • IstvanIN

    Sheila Jackson Lee Declares Rodney King a ‘Great Philosopher’:
    And certainly deserving of a state funeral.

    •  Of course he’s a Great Philosopher, just like Robert Mugabe is a great wealth creator and humanitarian.  Michael Jackson was the Greatest Baby Sitter who ever lived.  Dr. Conrad Murray was the Greatest Doctor ever, and the Red Tales could have flown their planes to Mars if only the racist U.S. government would have let them.

      • IstvanIN

        You convinced me to write my Senators, Havana Bob and Granny Lautenberg, to sponsor a Mall memorial.  Near MLk’s should be about right.

    • Rocky Bass,

      I vote in “Queen Sheila”‘s district! The glaring blacks, when I go into this old black church to vote are priceless! I never miss a vote, because if I were to, I would get voted for Obongo or some such crap. I love how we have not had voter ID laws, yet the black poll workers have many times asked me and my family members for ID! Go figure.

    •  He taught us all so much. I’m grateful to him for learning not to take illegal drugs, speed while on illegal drugs, and remain uncooperative with the police.

  • Church_of_Jed

    Too many news headlines said that he was a symbol of police brutality and the racial injustice.  In the end, he was just another symbol of earned stereotypes of Typical Diversity Behaviour and self destruction.

    During late 19th Century, most Whites thought the blacks would become extinct, per their inadaptability to civilization.  Blacks were propped up and nursed through misguided White charity, and now we’ve created a dependant monster that is strong enough to kill us if we don’t feed it.

    The story of the White man’s folly and interference with nature to his own demise will be the tales that space aliens use to scare their children.

    How many trillions have been robbed from the White economy and invested in Diversity? How many Whites have robbed nation of their gifts, talents, and treasure by investing in blacks instead of their own kind?  How much of our government and civic life is perverted and corrupted away from its purpose for us by being diverted for the benefit of blacks, for whom it was never intended?

    How great would the White community be in America if we didn’t have blacks or if we hadn’t ruined ourselves for their benefit?  That we could commit such a race crime against ourselves proves that a deep and evil dispensation descended upon us, and we’ve not you found the power to expunge it from our lives.  

    Maybe they are right after all, and we don’t deserve any White privilege. In the mass, we certainly didn’t act like we wanted any…

  • Where’s the video?

    Meh…even if their was one, the media would edit it to show the water attacking Rodney, and deleting the portion showing him splashing around.

    Good riddance scum-bag.

    • Joe whatever

       You meant ” good riddance rock fish”  ,no ?

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    Typical death of an alcoholic or drug addict with access to a swimming pool — or a bathtub, as in the Whitney Houston case

    The question is this:   How is 0bama going to blame this on Bush to bolster his campaign?  And, I think it’s likely Rodney WILL be voting for 0bama in November, probably multiple times.

    Rodney King was on parole for armed robbery and driving drunk at 117 miles per hour when he was pulled over.  If he had simply obeyed a lawful order to lie on the ground, he would not only have avoided a beat down by the LAPD,  the Rodney King Riots would never have happened, 53 people would not have died and one billion dollars in damage would have been averted.

    Rodney:  Your dysfunctional lifestyle was your own worst enemy.

    *In 1993, King crashed his vehicle into a block wall in downtown Los Angeles.

    *In July 1995, he was arrested for hitting his wife with his car, knocking her to the ground. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail after being convicted of hit and run.

    *On August 27, 2003, King was arrested again for speeding and running a red light while under the influence of alcohol. He failed to yield to police officers and slammed his vehicle into a house, breaking his pelvis.

    *On November 29, 2007, while riding home on his bicycle, King was shot in the face, arms, and back with pellets from a shotgun. He reported that it was done by a man and a woman who demanded his bicycle and shot him when he rode away. 

    *On March 3, 2011, King was stopped by Los Angeles police for driving erratically. He was issued a citation for driving with an expired license.

    THIS is the person Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), a University of Virginia Law graduate, called a “great philosopher.”


  •  There’s a film series, ‘Final Destination’. The premise is that people survive
    a fatal incident in which they should have died only to die later ( and then in some
    horrible way).

    We see this played out with criminals and various
    miscreants who live violent or reckless lives.

    Regardless of how many
    times he tried to turn his life around, Mr. King was marked for an early
    death. He just had a couple lucky breaks along the way. The Grim Reaper was
    always close at hand biding his time.

    • IstvanIN

      Perhaps the Grim Reaper was trying to avoid this particular pick up as long as possible?

      • Rocky Bass,

         Maybe the reaper feared the bad press this brotha tended to bring down on those having to deal with his A$$.

    • eunometic

      In the reality TV series “Celebrity Rehab” Rodney King appeared struggling with addictions.  Dr Drew Pinsky acknowledged King and said he hadn’t deserved what happened to him.
      I always thought that Kings failure to acknowledge his critical cause in the matter ( high on alcohol, violently resisting arrest while his two passengers were left untouched) was the reason he never was able to heal himself of substance abuse.  He lied to the nation, he lied to himself.   Someone that ca not be true to himself can not learn to give up the anaesthetic, pleasure seeking crutch of alcohol.

      He could have earned respect had he taken responsibility for his part.

      A tragic, shallow man who never brought his life in to integrity before time ran out

      •  I agree.

        In a metaphysical sense, I suspect black pathology persists to a  degree because they have never thanked the white race for ending slavery, something I don’t believe they have the intellectual, ethical, and moral fortitude to ever do.

  • razorrare


  • Time to name some schools after this drunken, resisting arrest, repeat offender.

    •  I’m thinking instead of Washington D.C. they go with Rodney D.C.

    • ncpride

      Wouldn’t surprise me one bit. Seriously, I wouldn’t put it past those loony libs.

  •  Any good dead Rodney King jokes yet?

    What Micheal Jackson Song will they play at Rodney Funeral.

    Beat It!!!!!!!!!!

    Rodney King was found to have 15 gun shot wounds when his body was recovered from the bottom of the pool.
    The LA Police are investigating how King could have managed to get the gun to fire underwater.

    Q. How does the LAPD play poker?

    A. Four clubs beat a king.


    Can’t we all just learn how to swim!


    Why did the USA name its newest stealth submarine the USS Rodney King?

    Because it can stay undetected underwater longer than anything else and can take a beating

    • It took him 20 years… but he finally hit bottom.

      • Church_of_Jed

        I mostly resent that he didn’t have the good taste to expire during Black History Month.

        Oh, wait, he did.  Black History Month is year round voodoo…

  • They all meet their destinies:

    Rodney the Swimmer
    Duke Lacrosse Lady
    Jena 6

    And, after all these years- Rosenbergs were guilty, as were Sacco & Vanzetti (Whites, but cause celebres). The only Blacks who were, IMO, innocent, were Scottsboro boys.

  • TonyWestfield

    Fun and informative gossip article about Rodney King and his fiance’ Ms Kelly (or Kelley):

    My personal favorite quotable quotation from the linked article:
    “It was a blessing that I was even there, the other jurors didn’t want to give him anything.  During deliberations, the other jurors said, ‘Let’s just award him $100,000, you know he’s just gonna blow it anyway’,” Kelley said.

    The jury, of which Rodney King’s future “partner” was a member, ruled that the city of Los Angeles must pay $3.8 million to Citizen King. 

    I’m told that a venerable institution exists in my country; the institution is called something like “ghetto lottery.”  Has anybody heard of this??

  • If Barak Obama had a son it would look like Rodney

  • Blacks and water don’t mix, you never see a black swimmer at the Olympics. Blacks have 20 % more density in their bone structure, that’s why they sink to the bottom of the pool.

    •  I remember at the 2000 Sydney games watching some black guy competing in a swimming event.  He was horrible, all of the other simmers were out of the pool and this guy was still doing laps!

      UPDATE – I found the video, it was Eric Moussambani in the 100 M Freestyle

  • I saw this comment on another website

    ” In 1991, Mr King, a convicted wife beater, robber, drunk driver, and druggie, drove at over 100mph while on angel dust, through a heavily populated residential area with two passengers in the back. When his car was pulled over, his two passengers gave themselves up quietly (no doubt relieved by the police intervention) and Mr King refused to get out. When he did get out, he attacked four police officers, threw two of them off, was tasered twice but still did not go down, leading to the not unreasonable assumption on their part that he was on PCP. Mr King  was about 6 4 and weighed 17-18 stone.

    The inital part of the tape which captured all of this was dishonestly edited by the US mainstream media. The jury at the first trial, who were shown the whole thing, acquitted (entirely rightly in my view) on the grounds that the level of force employed was entirely reasonable under the circs. Don’t expect any of this to get much prominence in or PC media. The second jury convicted basically because they were terrified that if they didn’t, Kings fellow Afro-Americans would get another riot started.  ”

  • MekongDelta69

    “Can’t we all just learn to swim?”

  • MekongDelta69

    Anybody else notice this:

    King’s fiancée, Cynthia Kelly, told friends King spent the bulk of Saturday drinking and “smoked marijuana at some point,” before she went to went to bed at 2:00 a.m.
    Kelly—a juror in King’s lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles in 1994—told police King was an “avid swimmer,” but she was not, CNN said.

    Jury nullification anybody?!

  • Lancelot Lincoln

    Can’t we all just chip in and buy Reverend Al Sharpton a backyard pool? Please. Kanye west needs to use his more often. A pool is a terrible thing to waste. Forget midnight basketball. Let’s promote midnight river swim-a-thons and midnight murky lake dives.

    • Major

      Now we know that crap doesn’t LA anyway. Yea…lets give Al swimming lessons.

  • Kurt Plummer

    Not our problem.  Anymore.

    If there is a shame in this, it lies in the simple fact that the U.S. cannot stop itself from prosecuting white cops that did nothing more than their jobs in subduing a violent felon, high out of his mind on PCP or Meth and -that- was the cause of the riots.

    If whites had simply stood tall and silent, the blacks could have pillaged their way through their entire neighborhood, starved until they stopped and the only people who would have ‘learned a much needed lesson’ would have been the Korean Store Owners who thought to make a profit selling to them.

    Lest we forget:


    Officer Tim Singer ordered King and his two passengers to exit the vehicle and lie face down on the ground. The two passengers complied and were taken into custody without incident.[9] King initially remained in the car. When he finally did emerge, he acted bizarrely: giggling, patting the ground, and waving to the police helicopter overhead.[15] King then grabbed his buttocks. Officer Melanie Singer momentarily thought he was reaching for a gun.[16] She drew her gun and pointed it at King, ordering him to lie on the ground. King complied. Singer approached King with her gun drawn, preparing to make the arrest.
    At this point, Sergeant Stacey Koon intervened and ordered Officer Melanie Singer to holster her weapon. LAPD officers are taught not to approach a suspect with a drawn gun, as there is a risk of the suspect gaining control of it if they get too close.[17] Koon then ordered the four other LAPD officers at the scene—Briseno, Powell, Solano and Wind—to subdue and handcuff King in a manner called a “swarm”, a technique that involves multiple officers grabbing a suspect with empty hands. As the officers attempted to do so, King physically resisted. King rose up, tossing Officers Powell and Briseno off his back. King then struck Officer Briseno in the chest.[18] Seeing this, Koon ordered all of the officers to fall back. The officers later testified that they believed King was under the influence of the dissociative drug phencyclidine (PCP).[19] King’s toxicology results tested negative for PCP.[20]
    [edit] Use of the taser
    Sergeant Koon then ordered the officers to “stand clear.” King was standing and was not responding to Koon’s commands. Koon then fired a Taser into King’s back. King groaned; momentarily fell to his knees; then stood back and yelled for almost five seconds.[21]
    [edit] Beating with batons: events on the Holliday video

    As George Holliday’s videotape begins, King is on the ground. He rises and moves toward Powell. (Solano termed it a “lunge,” and said it was in the direction of Koon.)[21] At this time, taser wires can be seen coming from King’s body. As King moves forward, Officer Powell strikes King with his baton. The blow hits King’s head, knocking him to the ground immediately.[22] Powell hits King several additional times with his baton. The videotape shows Briseno moving in to try and stop Powell from swinging, and Powell then backing up. (Koon reportedly yelled “that’s enough.”) King then rises to his knees; Powell and Wind continue to hit King with their batons while he is on the ground.[23]
    Koon acknowledged that he ordered the baton blows, directing Powell and Wind to hit King with “power strokes.” According to Koon, Powell and Wind used “bursts of power strokes, then backed off.” The videotape shows King apparently continuing to try to get up. Koon orders the officers to “hit his joints, hit the wrists, hit his elbows, hit his knees, hit his ankles.”[23] Finally, after 56 baton blows and six kicks, five or six officers swarm in and place King in both handcuffs and cordcuffs, restraining his arms and legs. King is dragged on his stomach to the side of the road to await arrival of a rescue ambulance.[23]

    The above is that happened when all available means _short_ of lethal force were used to subdue and place into custody an individual.

    And this is what a black high on Phencyclidine or simply his own psychosis is capable of-

    Note that the video is itself safe for viewing but is interesting in that, like Rodney, Rudy Eugene_did not_ go down on the first tazing.  He didn’t go down until #3.

    I don’t particularly like cops.  I think there is something natively unapproachable in their mentality as their attitudes which is all too easily warped from sheep dog to wolf.

    But if you choose that way of life, you have to be willing to live with the necessary acts of brutality, ‘above and beyond’ what normal people endure, that help you survive it.

    In this, the death toll from the riots makes it clear who the real barbarian thugs were.

  • xxxtonygunsxxx”They tried to overwhelm the employees so they went in as a group and
    started destroying banners, tearing up boxes and stuff,” Sgt. Steve
    Bevens with Troutdale Police said.

    He said they also stole food and shoved items into their jackets.

    Only one police officer was able to respond to the call because other
    officers were busy elsewhere. He found the group of kids at a nearby bus
    stop and called for backup.

    Bevens said some of the kids tried to intimidate the officer, but the
    officer randomly pulled two of the teens aside and arrested them for a
    curfew violation.

  • KenelmDigby

    A worthless end to a worthless life.

    Sometimes one can almost believe that there is such a thing as karma.

  • SLCain

    Remember how the news media always referred to Rodney King as a “motorist”.  Not as a drug-addict, thief, petty-criminal, wife-beater, or general no-account loser, but as a “motorist”.  As if the salient fact of his existence was that he sometimes drove a car.

  • Screamin_Ruffed_Grouse

    Actually, I believe you’re right. Thanks.

  • Major

    Nah…it was reported that he peed away the $4 million he was “awarded”.

    He was a doper to the end.

  • Lancelot Lincoln

    Don’t you mean a blight on simianity?

  • Strider73

    Too bad there are no video cameras in hell. Otherwise we would have been treated to the spectacle of Satan introducing Rodney King to his famous protégé, Trayvon Martin.

  • MikeofAges

    Rodney King meant well, or at least he tried to mean well. Or he meant to anyway even if he didn’t quite succeed in as much as that. What other people did in his name, he didn’t sign on to. He never called himself a philosopher. He never endorsed the “Rodney King” riots, which would be better termed a calculated street gang insurrection.

    Just a dumb guy who made a lot of mistakes. His great credit in life is that he never thought he was important when even others tried to make him so. In that one thing he had a better perspective than a lot of other people.

  • Orion_Blue

    Part of the problem with the use of personality-amplifying substances (illicit/illegal drugs and sometimes alcohol), is that it is very often those with the least desirable personalities who are most prone to do so.

    I remember the trial and the subsequent pillaging and mayhem that took place, as it was widely publicised on UK media. 

    I would still like to see the authentic, full-length video clip alongside the doctored one, just to make comparisons.

  • schmenz

    He probably swam faster because they had a swimmer behind him dressed as a cop.  Or maybe it was  a German Shepard