According to reports, Rodney King, who became a household name after his videotaped beating by Los Angeles police officers sparked a chain of events that lead to the deadly L.A. riots of 1992, has died at 47 at his home in Rialito, Calif. Law enforcement sources tell Reuters that he was found in his pool.

King's name has been in the news recently as news outlets across the country marked the 20th anniversary of the riots in April. He also released a book recently called The Riot Within: My Journey From Rebellion to Redemption


King, who struggled off and on in the 20 years after his beating, became known as a symbol in the fight against police brutality. Rev. Al Sharpton released this statement about King:

Rodney King was a symbol of civil rights and he represented the anti-police brutality and anti-racial profiling movement of our time. It was his beating that made America focus on the presence of profiling and police misconduct. I recently spent time with him on the release of his new book just a couple of months ago and he did my radio and TV show. Through all that he had gone through with his beating and his personal demons he was never one to not call for reconciliation and for people to overcome and forgive. History will record that it was Rodney King's beating and his actions that made America deal with the excessive misconduct of law enforcement.

This year, King told the Associated Press that "America's been good to me after I paid the price and stayed alive through it all. This part of my life is the easy part now."

Read more at MSNBC.

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Lauren is a former Deputy Editor of The Root.

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