Rodney King, the man whose life was thrust into the national spotlight after cameras caught him being beaten by four white Los Angeles Police Department officers in 1991, and in turn, sparked race riots after the officers were acquitted, has died, reports CNN. He was 47.
According to authorities and his fiancee, Cynthia Kelly, King was found dead in his swimming pool in his Los Angeles home early Sunday morning. Responders attempted to revive him, but he was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
According to police, there is no evidence of foul play or any conspicuous injuries to King's body. Authorities plan on further investigation and an autopsy will be conducted.
"Rodney King was a symbol of civil rights and he represented the anti-police brutality and anti-racial profiling movement of our time," the Rev. Al Sharpton said in a statement. "It was his beating that made America focus on the presence of profiling and police misconduct."
On parole for a robbery conviction in 1991, King was 25 when he was chased down by police and was nearly beaten to death by four white officers who repeatedly struck him with wooden batons and their stun guns. An amateur caught the incident on camera.
After a three-month trial, the four white officers were acquitted, which caused a violent upheaval among African Americans, who looted and destroyed businesses all over Los Angeles, resulting in over $1 billion in property damage and over 50 deaths.
After suing the city of Los Angeles, King was awarded $3.8 million in damages.