Rodney King was remembered in Los Angeles on Saturday as a forgiving man who bore the scars of his infamous beating with dignity.
The Rev. Al Sharpton, who delivered the eulogy at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, said before the funeral that King never showed bitterness to the officers who beat him.
"People should not be judged by the mistakes that they make, but by how they rise above them," Sharpton said outside the Hall of Freedom at the sprawling cemetery grounds. "Rodney had risen above his mistakes. He never mocked anyone — not the police, not the justice system, not anyone."
"He became a symbol of forgiveness," Sharpton said.
The funeral came nearly two weeks after King was found dead at the bottom of the swimming pool at his Rialto, Calif. home on June 17. He was 47.
Family members held a private service early in the day, followed by a public memorial and burial. Mourners signed a guest book and surveyed newspaper clippings from the days when King dominated headlines in 1991 and 1992. A large photograph of a smiling King was set on an easel.
Daughter Laura Dene King, 28, said she was proud to have had her father in her life for as long as she did, especially considering she almost lost him when she was six years old.
"I will remember his smile, his unconditional love," she said.
Several donors helped pay for the funeral, the reception afterwards, and other arrangements. Television producer Anthony Zuiker donated $10,000, and said he was at the funeral to show support for King's family.
"We lost a symbol, but they lost a loved one," said Zuiker, creator of the CSI: series.
Lawrence Spagnola, who co-authored King's 2012 book "The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption," sat with family members at both services.
The family can be proud of the "amazing degree of grace and wisdom" with which King carried himself after being violently thrust into the media spotlight, Spagnola said.
King's death is being treated as an accidental drowning but authorities are awaiting autopsy results to determine the official cause of death.
He became famous after his beating by Los Angeles police in 1991 was captured on videotape and broadcast worldwide, as were photos of his bloodied and bruised face.
The images of the grainy video became a national symbol of police brutality. It was played over and over for the following year, inflaming racial tensions across the country.
More than a year later, four officers charged with felony assault in the beating were acquitted by a jury with no black members. The verdict sparked one of the most costly and deadly race riots in U.S. history.
During the unrest, which left more than 50 people dead and caused more than $1 billion in property damage, King famously pleaded for peace by asking, "Can we all get along?"
His famous words were embroidered on the lid of King's casket, next to a portrait of him.
"He never asked if people would remember Rodney King. But he wondered if they would remember those words," Spagnola said. "I told him, 'long after you're gone, your words are going to live.' And I think he took some solace in that."
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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