Rodney King, key figure in LA riots, dead at 47

Rodney King, the black motorist whose 1991 videotaped beating by Los Angeles police officers led to some of the nation

On April 13, 2012, Rodney King poses for a portrait in Los Angeles. The acquittal of four police officers in the videotaped beating of King sparked rioting that spread across the city and into neighboring suburbs. Cars were demolished and homes and businesses were burned. Before order was restored, 55 people were dead, 2,300 injured and more than 1,500 buildings were damaged or destroyed.(AP Photo/Matt Sayles)

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Rodney King, the black motorist whose 1991 videotaped beating by Los Angeles police officers led to some of the nation's most destructive race riots, has died at age 47.

His death was confirmed to The Associate Press by Suzanne Wickham of Harper Collins, who published King's 2012 book `The Riot Within .My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption.'

King was stopped for speeding in March 1991 by four officers who hit him more than 50 times, kicked him and shot him with stun guns. A bystander videotaped the beating.

The officers were acquitted a year later, sparking a riot that would leave 55 people dead and more than 2,000 injured.

King became famous for his plea, "Can we all get along?" in a news conference during the height of the riots.


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