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LA riots figure Rodney King found dead at 47

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-06-18

Rodney King, whose videotaped 1992 beating by Los Angeles police became the catalyst for race riots in the city, was found dead in his swimming pool early on Sunday. He was 47.

AFP - Rodney King, whose beating by police in 1992 sparked race riots in Los Angeles, was found dead in his swimming pool early Sunday, authorities said. He was 47.

Rialto Police Captain Randy Deanda told AFP King was found "unresponsive" at the bottom of his pool and was pronounced dead at a local medical center shortly afterward at 6:11 am (1311 GMT).

King became a symbol of racial tensions in America after his beating by LA police was caught on camera. The police officers involved were acquitted on April 29, 1992, triggering days of deadly rioting in Los Angeles.

Speaking ahead of this year's 20th anniversary of the riots that left more than 50 people dead, he said racism still has to be challenged.

"There's always gonna be some type of racism. But it's up to us as individuals in this country to look back and see all the accomplishments that we have gotten to this far," he told CNN.

Asked about his feelings toward the police officers who beat him, he said: "I have forgiven (them), because America has forgiven me for so many things and given me so many chances.

"You get to have a second chance, and I've been given a second chance," said King, who has had a number of brushes with the law since 1992.

"I have much respect for (the police), much respect... some of them went out of their way over the years to try to make it up to me. Not all of them is bad."

Date created : 2012-06-17

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