Rodney King’s death in June was the result of accidental drowning, although alcohol, cocaine, marijuana and PCP found in his system were contributing factors, authorities said Thursday. Official Negligence: How Rodney King and the Riots Changed Los Angeles and the LAPD by Lou Cannon (Times Books, 1998, 698 pp., $35). Prior to driving, Rodney King and his two friends spent the night watching a basketball and consuming alcoholic beverages at a friend’s house. Details began to emerge Sunday about the death of Rodney King, a key figure in the 1992 Los Angeles riots. The acquitted police officers were later convicted of violating Rodney King’s civil rights in a federal court trial. Rodney King, whose videotaped beating at the hands of cops in 1991 led to not-guilty criminal verdict for the officers involved and touched off riots in … Rodney Glen King (April 2, 1965 – June 17, 2012) was a Black man who was a victim of police brutality by the Los Angeles Police Department.On March 3, 1991, King was beaten by LAPD officers after a high-speed chase during his arrest for drunk driving on I-210.A civilian, George Holliday, filmed the incident from his nearby balcony and sent the footage to local news station KTLA. Friends and family of Rodney King insist the 47-year old was excited about beginning a new chapter in his life. King’s fiancée called 911 about 5:25 a.m. and said she found King at the bottom of his pool, Sgt. Rodney King was released without charges, and on March 15 Sergeant Koon and officers Powell, Wind, and Briseno were indicted by a Los Angeles grand jury in connection with the beating. Al Sharpton said in a statement. Paul Stella said. He was 47 and died at his Rialto home. Through it all, Rodney King was just a man trying to find his way in the world. At 12:30 am, Officers Melanie and Tim Singer (a husband and wife team of the LAPD’s California Highway patrol department spotted King’s speeding down the highway. Before his death, Rodney King spent the night and early morning hours drinking and smoking marijuana at his house with a close friend and his fiancee, Cynthia Kelley. In fact, however, the beating was the officers' last resort for subduing King, who'd just led them on a high-speed car chase, at times reaching speeds of … Some would see him as a hero and a martyr, while others would maintain that he was a criminal and a villain, but the police's infringement on King's rights and dignity would become a … “Rodney King was a symbol of civil rights and he represented the anti-police brutality and anti-racial profiling movement of our time,” the Rev.