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 (10/7-10/14)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Nite | to the tune of @cnn 😞
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2. Got so much work to do but I just wanna stay in bed and binge watch #Gameofthrones and start the new season of #OnceUponATime. I know I can't be the only one. Right? Ha 💤🦁🍂 #saturday
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3. Mommy's weekend turn up ❤️👶🏾💕🍼 Wouldn't trade it for nothing. #TeamNoSleep lol #HesMyBiggestBlessing ✨
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4. One of them oh shit mont we made it feelings … this shit still be unreal 💯💪🏾 @remyboymonty1738
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5. Tickets Available October 14 @ticketmaster.
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6. People magazine Home edition has raided my house! Get a sneak peek into the bedroom life of the Leakes and see other parts of my home now at PEOPLE.COM
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7. They want to kick you when you down, but kick it when you up
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8. Got my advance copy of #Mafia3 at @gamestop. Get yours via link in the bio #Mafia3 #Ad
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9. This is some of the cast and our diverse team of writers in the writer's room creating funny sh*t for @nbcmarlon what a fun room! Lots of jokes, great stories and having a great time doing what we love... making people laugh and feel something. Look out for our show next year @nbcmarlon we bringing sitcoms back to NBC
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10. #HappySunday☀️Thank you @4everbrandy101 💛💡💛
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11. Happy to be back in Central Falls, RI breaking ground for the One Stop Health Center and hosting a local community event with #Vaseline.
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12. Thank you all in advance 💋💋💋 #Repost @urbansvintage・・・#TarajiPHenson's memoir #AroundTheWayGirl will be available everywhere TODAY October 11th! Will you be purchasing a copy? #UrbansVintage
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13. Moms got my back
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14. @galore dinner party glo ✨ thanks to @styledbygiigii
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15. 🌹#ThisIsWhatTheTruthFeelsLikeTOUR #forevereve
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16. Yes, all those videos I've been posting have led to this: the introduction of skincare to @TYRABeauty! This is the rundown on the new line:Years of research and beauty tips I live by led me to produce the most effective and delightful skincare out there. I'm all about taking really good care of my skin, so I can look like I'm aging in #TyraYears and go filter free on Instagram when I feel like it! Now, it's your turn. ✨My Mama always told me not to wash my face with just my hands. "Tyra, girl, you're just moving the dirt around!" And I've listened. First up is The Clean Machine.... ...a 3-in-1 foaming face wash that cleanses, removes makeup and purified your skin. It has patented technology - a attached Turbo Cleansing Tool - to give you that deep clean that makes your skin feel super fresh. Wanna know more? Yeah, baby. Click that link in my bio.
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17. On set of #beingmaryjane like... ❤️😬💃🏾
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18. #carouselofhope@yvetteshelton100@makeupbylatrice @thestacetheface@marialuciahohan24
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19. I refuse to let a little cold stop me from my daily routines to greatness. #onlythestrongsurvive #warriors
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20. Big things begin with big THINKING... #BusinessEthics #SetLife 🎥
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21. Goodnight - here's a song
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22. Words can't explain the feeling that I have right now.....God is good. look momma I made it. #Harts #Blessed #WhatNow #comedicrockstarshit #4DaysAway
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23. I tried to get a better video with out the nasty bib but she started getting mad at me..lol! Big cuz @the_queen_caitlin trying to show her what to do. #MamasToots #HeirBear👑💜
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24. Gorgeous Serena joined Beyoncé in Formation last night on stage in New Jersey!!!
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25. 😜 @lifeofdesiigner & @rockohill
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