SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — Rodney King had been drinking and was on drugs when he plunged into a swimming pool and accidentally drowned, a coroner's report released Thursday concluded.
The report confirmed a police conclusion that King died by accident and the case will be closed, Rialto police Capt. Randy DeAnda said.
"The investigation is now completed and basically the autopsy and toxicology reinforces our conclusions," DeAnda said.
King, whose videotaped beating by Los Angeles police in 1991 led to deadly rioting, had long struggled with addiction.
A call from King's fiancee brought police to his Rialto home at 5:30 a.m. on June 17. Officers pulled him from the bottom of the pool and he was pronounced dead at a hospital.
His fiancée could not swim and attempted to revive King by prodding him with a pitchfork and hoe before authorities arrived, according to the report.
The San Bernardino County coroner's report listed the cause of death as drowning "and the contributing cause was combined with ethanol (alcohol) and multiple drug toxicity," DeAnda said.
Toxicology tests showed that King had a blood-alcohol level of .06 and amounts of PCP, cocaine and marijuana in his system, the captain said.
"Mr. King was in a state of drug- and alcohol-induced delirium at the time of the terminal event and either fell or jumped into the swimming pool," DeAnda said. "Obviously, the effects of the drugs and alcohol combined precipitated some kind of cardiac arrhythmia, thus incapacitated Mr. King, and he was unable to save himself."
Arrhythmia is an irregular heartbeat.
The report details numerous injuries King sustained over his lifetime, including several birdshot pellets that remained in his body after a 2007 accident with a shotgun. It also states that King had a history of falling down and of having to be rescued from the swimming pool.
King's death occurred just months after the 20th anniversary of the Los Angeles riot brought him renewed attention. In the intervening years he had struggled with substance abuse and had a string of arrests.
But, at the time, he had just published a book about his life and was upbeat.
"America's been good to me after I paid the price and stayed alive through it all," he told The Associated Press. "This part of my life is the easy part now."
It was an unusually positive view for a man who symbolized the problem of police brutality and had long since lost the $3.8 million he'd been awarded in a civil suit against the city over the beating.
In March 1991, the then-25-year-old King led authorities on a high-speed chase that ended on a darkened Los Angeles street.
He was finally stopped by four Los Angeles police officers who were videotaped striking him more than 50 times with batons, kicking him and shooting him with stun guns. He suffered 11 skull fractures, a broken eye socket and facial nerve damage.
A resident recorded the videotape the beating and it was played over and over for a year, inflaming racial tensions.
The officers' trial, which was moved to the predominantly white suburb of Simi Valley, ended on April 29, 1992. A jury with no black members acquitted three of the officers on state charges and a mistrial was declared for a fourth.
Within hours Los Angeles was engulfed in violence and flames. Fifty-five people died, more than 2,000 were injured and more than $1 billion in damage was done.
At the height of the rioting, King made his famous plea for peace, saying, "Can we all get along?"
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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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