Rodney King, who became a symbol of turbulent race relations after his brutal beating by Los Angeles police officers incited widespread condemnation and large-scale riots, was found dead this morning at the age of 47, according to multiple reports.
TMZ first reported the story, citing multiple sources as saying that King’s fiancee found him at the bottom of a swimming pool. A Los Angeles ABC affiliate has since confirmed King’s death through his representative.
King’s story rose to the national spotlight in 1991 after Los Angeles police were caught on camera beating him after he was already subdued in what critics claimed was a racially-motivated case of police brutality. The officers accused of the beating were cleared of all wrongdoing the following year, sparking the massive L.A. riots.