The man who was a symbol of American police brutality and racial profiling has died. Rodney King, aged 47, was found dead at the bottom of the swimming pool in his Rialto, California residence. He overcame a vicious police beating 20 years ago that eventually led to police reforms and spurred Americans to face their racial rivalries.
Rodney King, then 25 years old, led police on a highway car chase in March 1991. The pursuit ended in an alley where King was assaulted with batons and stun guns. The four officers left him with damaged facial nerves, 11 fractures of the skull and cracked eye socket. The incident was documented by a member of public who passed the video to TV stations. When a jury set free all the officers, it sparked national outrage and numerous public riots.
King was eventually compensated with US $ 3.8 million in a civil suit. Although most of it was lost in ill-advised ventures, Rodney King became infamous for calling to an end to the riots. He had released an autobiography and had recently launched a personal memoir.