The man whose videotaped beating at the hands of L.A. police served as the fuse that ignited the city historic ’91 riots died today after apparently drowning at his home. Rodney King, 47, was found at the bottom of his swimming pool early Sunday and later pronounced dead. Currently, no official cause of death has been listed but early reports indicate the drowning was accidental and no foul play is suspected.
This year marked the 20-year anniversary of the L.A. Riots and numerous anniversary pieces have been written. In what’s now his final interview with TIME, King said of the riots: “I wouldn’t change much…I think it exposed the LAPD for what it was, and it exposed some of the courts and brought attention to people’s minds to what was so unfair. Things change when people see things going crazy.” King wasn’t a hero. He was a man – a Black man – who suffered. But through his pain, our world as we know it began to change.