RIALTO, Calif. (AP) — Investigators conducted an autopsy Monday on Rodney King’s body, but it was expected to take several weeks to determine what killed him, officials said.
Coroner’s officials will await results from toxicology tests that could take up to six weeks to gather before determining how King died. He was pulled from the deep end of his pool early Sunday by police who were called to his home by his fiancee.
King, 47, became famous after he was severely beaten by Los Angeles police in 1991. The beating was captured on videotape and broadcast worldwide, as were photos of King’s bloodied and bruised face. The more than 50 baton blows and kicks inflicted by officers left King with 11 skull fractures, a broken eye socket and facial nerve damage.
The trial of four officers charged with felony assault in the beating ended after a jury with no black members acquitted three of the officers on state charges; a mistrial was declared for a fourth.
The verdict sparked one of the most costly and deadly race riots in the nation’s history.
Rialto police are investigating King’s death as an apparent drowning and said they have found no signs of foul play. King’s fiancee spoke with police for several hours Sunday and is considered a witness in the case, Rialto Police Officer David Shepherd said Monday.
A police officer remained stationed outside King’s one-story home throughout Monday, with several news crews also remaining in the neighborhood. Cars slowed to look at the house, and some stopped for passengers to snap photos. But no memorial to King had been created at the residence.
Toxicology results will show whether King, who struggled with addiction throughout his life, had any alcohol or drugs in his system.
Police have said there were no signs of alcohol or drug paraphernalia near the pool. Officers were seen taking a marijuana plant out of the house Sunday, but Shepherd said he could not confirm what items were taken from the home.
Lawrence Spagnola, who helped King write his memoir “The Riot Within: From Rebellion to Redemption,” said King was proud of the book and hoped it signaled a new chapter in his life where he wouldn’t just be remembered as a beating victim.
“Rodney was tired of being the Rodney who was always asked about the beating and if he’d forgiven the cops,” Spagnola said. King was happiest when he was outdoors and the two men talked about meeting for a fishing trip, Spagnola said.
“There was a lot of good in him,” he said.
He said King seemed like a different person when he spoke about the darker aspects of his life. “When Rodney was talking about spousal abuse or DUIs or drinking, there was a look in his face almost as if he was talking about another person,” Spagnola said.
King had plenty to look forward to, including setting a wedding date and the upcoming birth of another grandchild, he said.
Spagnola said King didn’t expect he would be remembered, but hoped that his infamous words spoken as the riots still flared, “Can we all get along?” would long outlive him.
Even 20 years after the beating, King still endured migraines, joint pain and other ailments, Spagnola said. Alcohol provided some relief, he said.
“I honestly think he’s more at peace now than he ever was in his life,” Spagnola said.
Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP
More Related Stories
- Mississippi could begin prosecuting women for miscarriages
- Teenage girl claims she was beaten up for looking like Taylor Swift
- UK Military: London attack victim was a "model soldier"
- Billionaire hedge funder: Babies, breast-feeding "kill" focus, keep women from succeeding
- "Bookless library" set to open in Texas
- 2 more arrested in London attacks
- Glenn Beck: CNN interview with atheist tornado survivor was a setup!
- Incoming BBC news director on journalism gender gap: "We can do better"
- Illegal construction, shoddy materials at fault in Bangladesh factory disaster
- Ahead of Obama's speech, U.S. acknowledges four American drone killings
- Must-see morning clip: Bill O'Reilly visits "The Daily Show"
- Lawsuit alleges anti-gay hiring practices at ExxonMobil
- Boy Scouts poised to vote, still greatly divided on gay youth
- House supporters of KXL received $56m from fossil fuel industry
- 80-year-old becomes oldest to climb Mount Everest
- Before FBI shooting man implicated self, Tsarnaev in triple murder
- Paul McCartney backs Pussy Riot
- UK emergency committee convenes after attack
- Brave scout leader tried to reason with London attackers
- If Alex Pareene were a cable news executive...
- El Salvador court delays ruling on abortion case while woman's life hangs in the balance
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11