L.A. Riots: 20 Years Later

L.A. Riots: 20 Years Later

Looking back at the Los Angeles Riots of 1992

Police Release 911 Call in Rodney King Death

Rodney King died Sunday, June 17, after being found at the bottom of the swimming pool in the backyard of his Rialto home.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A 911 call reveals the moments after Rodney King's fiancée Cynthia Kelley found his body at the bottom of the pool at his Rialto home early Sunday morning. Rialto police tried to resuscitate King, but were unsuccessful. King was pronounced dead at a hospital about 45 minutes after the call was made. Robert Kovacik reports from the NBC4 newsroom for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on June 19, 2012.

    Rialto police on Tuesday released recordings of the 911 call made by Rodney King’s fiancée Sunday morning, when she found the 47 year old at the bottom of their backyard swimming pool.

    Cynthia Kelley can be heard crying throughout the 5-minute-15-second phone call made at about 5:30 a.m. on June 17.

    Kelley: “Rodney King, the guy that got beat by the police.”

    Officials: Rodney King's Cause of Death Weeks Away

    [LA] Officials: Rodney King's Cause of Death Weeks Away
    Rodney King, the man whose beating by Los Angeles police officers sparked the 1992 riots after officers' acquittal, died early Sunday, June 17, at his Rialto home, where he found at the bottom of his swimming pool. Officer David Shepherd says it will likely be six to eight weeks before a cause of death can be determined pending additional toxicological tests. Craig Fiegener reports from Rialto Police headquarters in Rialto for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on June 18, 2012.

    Dispatcher: “OK. How old is he?”

    Kelley: “He’s 47 years old. He’s not moving; he’s at the bottom of the swimming pool.”

    Rodney King’s Legacy: "It’s Hard to Tell"

    [LA] Rodney King’s Legacy: "It’s Hard to Tell"
    Upon hearing the news of Rodney King’s death, Angelenos weren’t sure what to make of the legacy left behind by the man first revealed to the world as a grainy image in the video tape of a police beating. Many in the Southland say they will remember King for his positive and negative traits – a dichotomy that repeatedly came up. “He was almost like a legend, but not a good legend and not a bad legend, because he was a human being,” says one man. Cary Berglund reports from Lake View Terrace for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on June 18, 2012.

    Dispatcher: “Is he out now of the pool or is he still in the pool?”

    Kelley: “I was sleeping, all of a sudden I heard something fall like the table and then I looked over and then I went to find him and he’s at the bottom of the swimming pool. He’s still there. Please hurry up.”

    The dispatcher asks Kelley if she is able to retrieve King, but Kelley says she can’t swim.

    Rialto police officers pulled King from the swimming pool and tried to resuscitate him. King was pronounced dead at the hospital about 45 minutes after the 911 call was made.

    Officials found no signs of trauma or traces of blood on the concrete near King’s swimming pool and while they are investigating his death as an accidental drowning, police said they are looking into all possible leads.

    An official cause of death was deferred Monday by coroner’s officials claiming more toxicological tests were needed. The results are expected within six to eight weeks.

    King was in the water three to four minutes between the time his fiancée called 911 and when officers pulled him from the water, Capt. Randy De Anda said Monday.

    The world first saw King as a grainy image being beaten by police officers at the end of a 1991 pursuit on a Southern California freeway, an event videotaped by George Holliday, whose residence looked out to the freeway.

    Riots broke out in Los Angeles when three of the officers involved were acquitted and another officer's case was declared a mistrial.

    One of the most violent images of the riots was the beating of trucker Reginald Denny. King told NBC4 the Denny attack triggered memories of his own beating.

    "I could feel that brick hit his head," King said. "I could hear it, and I could also feel it. I said to myself, 'Oh, my God.'"

    Fifty-three people were killed in the LA riots, during which King asked during a news conference, "Can we all just get along?"

    "I want to be remembered as the one who always tried to keep it together," King told NBC4 in his April 2012 interview.

    King was awarded $3.8 million in a civil case, but that was spent on a record label and other failed ventures. He resurfaced on the show "Celebrity Rehab" and sparred in boxing matches.

    He recently finished a book, "The Riot Within: From Rebellion to Redemption." In the book, King wrote about watching as Los Angeles was torn apart.

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