Rodney King was found dead in the backyard of his home in Rialto, CA early this morning. For those of you young hos who are like, “Who’s Rodney King?” Please tell your 7th grade history teacher to give a long lesson on the 1991 brutal police beating of Rodney King, which lead to an acquittal, which led to the massive L.A. Race Riots.
There’s not a lot of confirmed details, but TMZ is on this hard and has heard a few things. Rodney’s fiancee, Cynthia Kelley, is telling friends that he spent the entire day yesterday boozing and smoking weed at the house. When she called it a night and went to bed at 2 this morning, Rodney was still drinking and was in a good mood. Then at around 5 this morning, Cynthia was awoken by Rodney’s screams. She found Rodney naked and banging on the glass. Cynthia asked him what was wrong before she ran to grab her phone, to call 911 presumably. Cynthia then heard a splash and she ran to the backyard. Cynthia found Rodney lying at the bottom of the pool. The paramedics showed up and were unable to bring Rodney back. Rodney was only 47 years old.
After the riots and a federal trial in 1993, which ended with two of the officers found guilty, Rodney King was in a bad way. Rodney battled addiction and was arrested a couple of times. In 2009, Rodney was on both Celebrity Rehab and Sober House, and to me came across as a nice, quiet, sad, troubled (I hate that word too, but I couldn’t think of another one) guy who really wanted to get his shit together.
Oh, and if you haven’t been to Facebook today, you might want to stay away unless you really want to see a dozen statutes that say: “Can’t all just…” you know the rest.
Rest in peace, Rodney King.