Rodney King Gone

I always felt a little bad for the guy. I mean … not really bad. He was a convicted criminal who was driving drunk and acting bizarrely when the beating occurred. But I don’t think he ever intended to become a pawn of the race baiters. And he seemed genuinely appalled by the rioting.

He drowned today at age 47.

Doesn’t seem like it could be 21 years ago that LA exploded in flames. My PhD advisor was living there at the time and said planes taking off from LAX were diverting around the riot. My only experience was dealing with a campus that decided to recognize the event skipping classes and hitting on each other on the campus lawn having a “teach in” where they condemned the racism intrinsic in … a diversity-oriented administration at a small liberal arts college.


Here’s a quick question: would the LA riots happen today? If a similar incident occurred? I don’t think so, given the huge drop in crime overall. But I’m known to be optimistic that way.

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  1. Mississippi Yankee

    He was found by his girlfriend Cynthia Kelly.

    Cynthia Kelley – one of the jurors responsible for awarding him a multi-million dollar compensation settlement

    I hope for Cynthia’s sake he left a will… I would hate to think she perverted justice for nothing.

    Not that I’m cynical…

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  2. InsipiD

    I would’ve done my customary “pour one out” tribute, but I’m short on Olde English 800, Sterno, electronic parts cleaners, and PCP.

    While King certainly didn’t deserve the brutal beating which he was dealt, the tragedies of his life are all of his own doing. He’s alienated his family, perpetually was caught driving while drunk, and was looked to for comments on any racial story by a media apparently too clueless to realize how dumb it looked. The attention, trial, and money gave him the opportunity to have a normal life if he could just stop drinking all the time. Instead, he died face-down in a swimming pool after 21 years of failed rehab. His cause of death is most certainly the cause of his life: alcohol.

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  3. blameme

    Apparently, King and water just “couldn’t get along.”

    All of the problems this dude had were self inflicted. Sorry if I don’t sound sympathetic – I don’t “enjoy” anyone passing (well except for a special few).

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