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Rodney King, Man at Center of Los Angeles Riots, Dies

  • VOA News

Rodney King poses for a portrait after a book signing of his book " The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption " in New York April 24, 2012.

Rodney King, the man at the center of the notorious Los Angeles riots of the 1990s, has died at the age of 47.

California police say King was found unresponsive at the bottom of his swimming pool early Sunday morning.

King became a symbol of racial tensions in the United States after video aired of his beating by Los Angeles police, after a high-speed car chase in March 1991.

Four police officers were tried of on charges of assault and excessive force.

Their subsequent acquittal on April 29, 1992 sparked six days of rioting and looting in Los Angeles.

The violence resulted in more than 50 deaths, dozens of injuries and and millions of dollars in damage to property.

King responded to the violence by making his famous plea of "Can we all get along?"

Nearly a year later, the four officers stood trial on federal charges of civil rights violations. Two of the officers were convicted and sentenced to 30 months in prison. Two others were acquitted.