Rodney King, whose beating by Los Angeles police in 1991 was caught on videotape and sparked riots after the acquittal of the four officers involved, was found dead on Sunday. He was 47.
King was found at the bottom of his a swimming pool at his LA home.
Authorities said King's fiancée called 911 at 5:25 a.m. after finding Kings in the pool. He was rushed to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
In 1991, King's beating after a high-speed car chase in LA, which was videotaped by a witness, led to the arrest of the officers involved and forever changed the city’s police department.
After the officers were acquitted a year later, riots erupted in LA. At a press conference to calm tempers in LA, King uttered the famous words: “Can we all get along?... Can we get along? Can we stop making it horrible for the older people and the kids?”
The King beating had a powerful impact on America: The event sparked a dialogue on race across the United States; it also gave rise to the era of news events being captured on video by regular people.
At the time of the beating, King, 25, was on parole after a robbery conviction in April 1991.
In an interview in 2011 with CNN, he recalled he had been drinking and was headed home from a friend's house when he saw a police car following him and panicked, thinking he would be sent back to prison.
King attempted to flee at speeds reaching 100 mph.
"I had a job to go to that Monday, and I knew I was on parole, and I knew I wasn't supposed to be drinking, and I'm like 'Oh, my God,'" he told CNN.
When he was finally stopped, the video captured the officers beating a defenseless King with clubs, who was on the ground.
The video and community outcry prompted the officers to be arrested and tried, but on April 29, 1992, when a jury acquitted all four, thousands of people in the Los Angeles area rioted over six days.
More than 50 people were killed in one of the country's deadliest riots which cost more than $1 billion in damages.
In April, King had been in the news as the 20th anniversary of the LA riots were observed.