It’s been a day since Rodney King’s death, and already scandal is swirling around the case.
Rodney King’s death at the age of 47 capped off a life defined by what amounts to a single incident and ultimately became much more. Rodney King was a far younger man in 1991 when a videotaped incident involving King and the LAPD sparked off a large racial controversy in the US.
King was apprehended by police, and in a video, was beaten far more severely than it would appear was necessary to place him under arrest. In the era before the internet, the video went “viral” on TV news and ultimately, four Los Angeles Police Department officers were tried.
When acquittals in the Rodney King case were ruled, chaos erupted, and the city burned for nearly a week. In the years subsequent, King was awarded nearly $4 million owing to his injuries, but also struggled with alcohol addiction following his brief period in the national spotlight.
In fact, drugs and alcohol were initially reported to have played a role in King’s death, according to his fiancee and former juror on the case, Cynthia Kelley. Kelley reported hearing King call for help, and finding him at the bottom of the pool, unresponsive.
But according to TMZ, friends of Kelley and King find the story of Rodney King’s death suspicious, and the site explains:
“But sources close to King tell TMZ they heard Kelley tell the story several times to friends … only the story changed a little bit each time and it seemed to them that she was lying about something.”
“We’re told two of Kelley’s friends who spoke with her in the hours following King’s death have gone to police and spoke to a detective. Our source says the detective took down their story and their information and said he would be in touch. “
Rodney King was 47 at the time of his death.