Rodney King was made famous more than 20 years ago when his beating by the Los Angeles police was caught on camera and aired on television. After four of the officers charged with excessive assault were acquitted the next year, the infamous L.A. riots broke out, using King as a symbol of the need to build better race relations.
Only 47 years old, King was found dead in his swimming pool in California yesterday. His fiancee, Cynthia Kelly, made the 911 call at 5:25 a.m. The cause of death — believed to be accidental drowning — is still under investigation.
King was known for asking the simple and profound question, “Why can’t we all just get along?” After his death was announced, many took to Twitter to mourn the “countercultural hero” and send his famous question into cyberspace.
“Can we all just get along?”Rodney King RIP
— mia farrow (@MiaFarrow) June 18, 2012
Rodney King said he wanted this on his tombstone: “Can we all just get along? Can we all get along in peace?” — Good Morning America (@GMA) June 18, 2012
RIP Rodney King. Thrust into limelight under bizarre circumstances, I have quoted “why can’t we all just get along” often. Um, why can’t we?
— Jerrold Colton (@Jerrold_Colton) June 18, 2012
“Why can’t we all just get along” – RIP Rodney King. #respect
— Kevin Sean Dolan (@KevinSDolan) June 18, 2012
Did we ever actually get a comprehensive answer as to why we can’t all just get along?
— Rachel Fox (@FoxMe) June 18, 2012