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 (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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