Died June 17, 2012. Born April 2, 1965.
King was the victim in a police brutality case involving the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) on March 3, 1991. A bystander, George Holliday, videotaped much of the incident from a distance.
The footage showed seven officers surrounding the solitary King, with several LAPD officers repeatedly striking a helpless King with their batons while the other officers stood by watching, without taking any action to stop the beating. A portion of this footage was aired by news agencies around the world, causing public outrage that increased tension between the local black community and the LAPD and increased anger over police brutality, racism and social inequalities in Los Angeles.
Four LAPD officers were later tried in a state court for the beating; three were acquitted and the jury failed to reach a verdict for the fourth. The announcement of the acquittals sparked the 1992 Los Angeles riots. A later federal trial for civil rights violations ended with two of the officers found guilty and sent to prison and the other two officers acquitted.
On June 17, 2012, King's fiancée found him dead in his swimming pool. Police in Rialto, California, received a 911 call from King's fiancee, Cynthia Kelly, about 5:25 a.m. PST. Responding officers found King at the bottom of the pool, removed him, and attempted to revive him. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.