Rodney King Dead at 47

Celebrity News Jun. 17, 2012 AT 11:10AM
Rodney King arrives at the EsoWon books store to sign copies of his new book, 'The Riot Within: My Journey From Rebellion to Redemption,' on April 30, 2012 in California. Rodney King arrives at the EsoWon books store to sign copies of his new book, 'The Riot Within: My Journey From Rebellion to Redemption,' on April 30, 2012 in California. Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Rodney King, the man whose 1991 beating by Los Angeles police officers was caught on camera, passed away Sunday. He was 47.

Law enforcement officials tell CNN King was found dead at the bottom of his swimming pool.

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TMZ reports that authorities in Rialto, Calif., responded to a call at 5:25 a.m. local time, removed King from the pool and attempted CPR to no avail. King was pronounced dead at 6:11 a.m. The Rialto police are said to be opening a drowning investigation.

King became known worldwide when he became the victim of police brutality while on parole after a robbery conviction in April 1991. After a night of drinking, King was driving home and realized he was being followed by a police car. Worrying he'd be put back behind bars, King tried to flee.

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When police officers -- three white and one Hispanic -- caught up with King, they struck the man more than 50 times with wooden batons and used a stun gun on him.

Beaten nearly to death, King underwent a five hour surgery and an amateur videotape of his beating was aired on national television.

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When three of the four officers were acquitted on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and excessive use of force by a police officer, riots began in L.A., leading to 50 deaths and $1 billion in property damage.

On the third day of rioting, King uttered the now-famous phrase heard around the world: "People, I just want to say, can we all get along? Can we get along?"

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