Coroner: Rodney King’s’ Accidental Drowning Involved Drugs

Peaches GrantAugust 24, 2012

Rodney King drowned in his backyard swimming pool while in a “state of drug and alcohol-induced delirium,” the San Bernardino County coroner concluded Thursday.

King died as a result of an accidental drowning after he fell into his pool on July 17. Toxicology tests found alcohol, marijuana, PCP and cocaine in his system when he died. The drugs, along with his history of heart problems contributed to his death.

King’s fiancee, Cynthia Kelley, found him dead at the bottom of his pool in Rialto, Calif. According to the coroner’s report, Kelley told investigators that King was in the backyard and woke her up by banging on the sliding glass door.

“She described him making grunting and growling sounds and having frothy secretions coming from his mouth,” the report said. “The subject at that time was wearing his underwear down around his knees and then apparently fell backwards onto the planter … just east of the sliding glass door.”

King, 47, made headlines in 1991 when he was beaten by Los Angeles police. The policemen acquittal sparked deadly riots in Los Angeles in 1992. King was awarded a $3.8-million settlement.

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