Investigators performed an autopsy to determine the cause of death of Rodney King, whose 1991 beating at the hands of the police sparked a national debate about police brutality and sparked the L.A. riots.
King, 47, was found dead by his fiancee around 5:30 on Sunday morning the home they shared in Rialto, Calif. His body was floating in the deep end of the pool he built himself. He had inscribed the date of his beating and the start date of the L.A. riots. There was no alcohol or drug paraphernalia found near the pool, and authorities said they did not expect foul play, according to the Associated Press. Officials from the coroner's office said that toxicology results could take up to six weeks to gather.
In the famous video taken in March 1991 by a motorist named George Holliday, King was seen being struck by police officers dozens of times. The officers were later acquitted by an all-white jury, which led to violent unrest throughout Los Angeles for several days. At least 52 people were killed in the subsequent rioting. There was an estimated $1 billion worth of property damage.
King was awarded $3.8 million damages stemming from a civil rights trial, but he spent much of the money he received on legal fees, cars and houses.
In his later life, King had several more run-ins with the law and battled drug and alcohol addiction. At one point, King even appeared on "Celebrity Rehab" and "Sober House," two reality shows that purportedly aimed to help prominent figures overcome their addictions.
UPDATE: More from AP-
Officers were seen taking a marijuana plant out of the house Sunday, but Shepherd said he could not confirm what items were taken from the home.
Lawrence Spagnola, who helped King write his memoir "The Riot Within: From Rebellion to Redemption," said King was proud of the book and hoped it signaled a new chapter in his life where he wouldn't just be remembered as a beating victim.
"Rodney was tired of being the Rodney who was always asked about the beating and if he'd forgiven the cops," Spagnola said. King was happiest when he was outdoors and the two men talked about meeting for a fishing trip, Spagnola said.
"There was a lot of good in him," he said.
He said King seemed like a different person when he spoke about the darker aspects of his life. "When Rodney was talking about spousal abuse or DUIs or drinking, there was a look in his face almost as if he was talking about another person," Spagnola said.
King had plenty to look forward to, including setting a wedding date and the upcoming birth of another grandchild, he said.
Spagnola said King didn't expect he would be remembered, but hoped that his infamous words spoken as the riots still flared, "Can we all get along?" would long outlive him.
Even 20 years after the beating, King still endured migraines, joint pain and other ailments, Spagnola said. Alcohol provided some relief, he said.
"I honestly think he's more at peace now than he ever was in his life," Spagnola said.
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