Authorities are now investigating the cause of Rodney King's death over weekend. Officials ordered toxicology tests, though results won't be known for a few weeks. His body was found in a swimming pool on Sunday.
King became the iconic face of the 1992 L.A. riots. He was stopped for speeding and beaten by four Los Angeles Police Department officers. A bystander videotaped the brutal incident, in which police hit him more than 50 times, kicked him on the ground and zapped him with stun guns — sparking widespread civil unrest. After all was said and done, more than 50 people died, nearly 3,000 were injured and thousands of businesses were trashed.
Twenty years after his almost-deadly beating, Rodney King reflected on the infamous riots and gave his perspective on the killing of Trayvon Martin during an appearance on The Last Word. He was a guest on our show just a short time ago on April 25. In a Very Last Word web exclusive, he thanked supporters for keeping him alive.
"I would just like to say thank you. Although I may not know who you are, or where you are, today," King told The Last Word. "And even if you've passed away, I really appreciate the support over the years that I have received. I’ll always remember that, those prayers and people who kept me alive over the years."
King was 47.