Rodney King Dies at 47

By Valerie Tejeda 06/18/12

The famous victim of police brutality is found dead in his pool after a lifelong struggle with drugs and alcohol.

King never got along with drugs and alcohol.
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Rodney King—whose brutal treatment by police sparked the 1991 LA riots—was found dead at the bottom of his pool on Sunday, after a lifelong battle with drug and alcohol addiction. King, who featured on shows like Sober House and Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, was briefly arrested under suspicion of DUI last summer. He had been drinking and smoking marijuana all day prior to his death, according to his fiancée Cynthia Kelly; she says after going to bed around 2 am, she woke up to hear King screaming in the backyard, then heard a splash and immediately called the police. The 47-year-old's body was discovered at bottom of the pool of his California home and he was pronounced dead at a local hospital at 6:11 am Sunday. Police don't suspect foul play, but a full investigation and autopsy report will be carried out. King had been back in the news this spring after releasing a book called The Riot Within: My Journey From Redemption To Rebellion, and was also working as a commentator on the Trayvon Martin case. The icon, who once uttered the now-famous phrase, "Can we all get along?" had reflected in a recent interview on the 20 years since his filmed beating by police, saying: "I still suffer from headaches to this day and walk with a limp, but after the beating with me, a lot of things changed. People looked at civil rights and my situation and said it was time for a change. Now we have a black president."

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Entertainment journalist and author Valerie Tejeda spends her days reporting on books, television, and all things pertaining to pop culture, and spends her nights writing novels for teens. Her stories have appeared on a variety of different publications, including but not limited to: VanityFair, MTV, The Huffington Post, TeenVogue, She Knows, Latina, The Fix,, Cosmopolitan, and more. You can find Valerie on Linkedin and Twitter.