Rodney King Autopsy: PCP, Cocaine, Marijuana And Alcohol Contributed To Drowning

Rodney King, the Los Angeles motorist whose beating by police was captured on videotape, smiles, 01 May 1992 in Beverly Hills
Rodney King, the Los Angeles motorist whose beating by police was captured on videotape, smiles, 01 May 1992 in Beverly Hills, during a press conference, where he called for the end of violence in the city. The 1992 Los Angeles riots, with looting and arson events, erupted 29 April 1992 when a mostly white jury acquitted the four police officers accused in the videotaped beating of black motorist Rodney King, after he fled from police. 52 people were killed during the riots and Rodney King became a reluctant symbol of police brutality. (Photo credit should read ROBERT SULLIVAN/AFP/GettyImages)

Rodney King was under the influence of cocaine, PCP, marijuana and alcohol at the time of death, according to the death report released Thursday, TMZ reports.

The cause of death is listed as accidental drowning -- but the drugs were contributing factors.

He was in a state of "drug- and alcohol-induced delirium at the time" and "either fell or jumped into the swimming pool," according to the San Bernardino County coroner's report, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The drugs, combined with a heart condition, led to a cardiac arrhythmia, and King was “thus incapacitated, was unable to save himself and drowned," according to the report. King's blood-alcohol level was 0.06.

"There is nothing in the history or autopsy examination to suggest suicide or homicide," the report states, the San Bernardino County Sun reports.

The PCP found in King's blood is noteworthy because the Los Angeles police officers involved in the 1991 beating said they believed he was on PCP, which can make its users impervious to pain. However, tests at the time showed no trace of the drug.

King, 47, died in June after he was found by his fiancee, Cynthia Kelley, at the bottom of the backyard pool at his Rialto home.

Kelly said that she awoke to King screaming in the backyard at about 5 a.m. She found him naked, banging on glass and, when she went to get her phone, she heard a big splash.

When police arrived, they also found a pitchfork, a hoe and a vacuum pool sweeper in the pool, according to TMZ. Kelley told the officers that she used the tools to try to fish her fiancé out of the water instead of jumping in because she is not a good swimmer and was afraid to enter the water.

King had struggled with addiction for years after the beating, even appearing on "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew." In his recently-published memoir, “The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption,” he wrote that he still drank and used drugs occasionally but that, with Kelley, who had been a juror in a civil suit he brought against the City of LA, he was on his way to recovery.

On the 20th anniversary of the beating in March of this year, King told reporters that he was happy.

King became famous in 1991, when a witness videotaped an altercation between King and Los Angeles police. The video (watch below) shows officers brutally beating King and was subsequently broadcast on news outlets around the world.

After officers involved in the beating were acquitted, the 1992 Los Angeles riots began. The police lost control of the city, and there were 53 deaths, 3,600 fires, 10,000 destroyed businesses and an estimated $1-billion-plus worth of damage.

Responding to the racial tensions that fueled the riots, King famously pleaded at the time for peace, saying "Can we all get along?"

This story is developing. Check back for updates.



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