L.A. Riots: 20 Years Later

L.A. Riots: 20 Years Later

Looking back at the Los Angeles Riots of 1992

Rodney King Remembered in Hollywood Hills as "Healer," "Symbol of Forgiveness"

The funeral came nearly two weeks after King was found dead at the bottom of the swimming pool at his Rialto home on June 17. He was 47.

By Jason Kandel, Melissa Pamer and Ted Chen
|  Saturday, Jun 30, 2012  |  Updated 8:21 PM PDT
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Rodney King is remembered as a great father, a great friend, and a symbol of forgiveness. Two weeks after his death, King was laid to rest Saturday, following an emotional memorial service at the Hollywood Hills Forest Lawn. Angie Crouch reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on June 30, 2012.

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Rodney King is remembered as a great father, a great friend, and a symbol of forgiveness. Two weeks after his death, King was laid to rest Saturday, following an emotional memorial service at the Hollywood Hills Forest Lawn. Angie Crouch reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on June 30, 2012.

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Rodney King Leaves Behind Lasting Legacy

Rodney King leaves behind a lasting legacy, in Los Angeles and across the U.S. His ordeal forever changed the nature of race relations on many different levels. Ted Chen reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 30, 2012.

Rodney King Dies at Age 47

An autopsy is set for Monday to determine the cause of Rodney King's death. The man whose videotaped beating by police led to a re-defining of race relations in Los Angeles and across the U.S. was found Sunday morning at the bottom of his backyard swimming pool in Rialto. He was 47. Patrick Healy reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on June 17, 2012.
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Rodney King was remembered during a Saturday service at Forest Lawn in the Hollywood Hills as a "symbol of forgiveness" who bore the scars of his infamous beating with dignity.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, who delivered the eulogy, said at a news conference before the funeral that King never showed bitterness to the officers who beat him.

"People should not be judged by the mistakes that they make, but by how they rise above them," Sharpton said. "Rodney had risen above his mistakes, he never mocked anyone, not the police, not the justice system, not anyone."

Sharpton added that King had become a "symbol of forgiveness."

LA Riots: 20 Years Later: Articles, Photos, Videos

King was found in the bottom of his swimming pool in the backyard of his Rialto home on June 17. His death at age 47 is being treated as an accidental drowning, though autopsy results have still not been released.

Family members held a private service early Saturday, followed by a public memorial and burial.

"I will remember his smile, his unconditional love," said daughter Laura Dene King, 28, to a phalanx of news cameras outside the Hall of Freedom at Forest Lawn-Hollywood Hills. "He was a great father, a great friend; he loved everyone. People will just have to smile when they think of him."

Donors who had contributed to the funeral and other arrangements included TV producer Anthony Zuiker, who donated $10,000.

"We lost a symbol, but they lost a loved one," said Zuiker, creator of the CSI: series. "Rodney was a healer."

King became famous after his videotaped Lake View Terrace beating by Los Angeles police in 1991 was broadcast worldwide, as were photos of his bloodied and bruised face.

Those images became a national symbol of police brutality.

"That showed what was evident all over the United States, that police brutality was alive and well," observed Lawrence Tolliver, the owner of well-known barber shop in South LA.

When four officers charged with felony assault on King were acquitted by a jury with no black members, the verdict sparked a riot that lasted for six days and brought U.S. military presence to patrol LA streets.

During the unrest, which left more than 50 people dead and caused more than $1 billion in property damage, King famously pleaded for peace by asking, "Can we all get along?"

King's words were embroidered on the lid of his casket, next to a portrait of him.

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