We knew Rodney King’s fiancée was there when rescuers pulled him from the pool early Sunday morning, but on Tuesday police released Cynthia Kelley’s panicked 911 call where she frantically begged for rescue workers to rush to King’s Southern California home.
CALLER: “Please hurry up. Oh my god.”
OPERATOR: “Ma’am, listen to me. How old is he?”
CALLER: “Rodney King … the guy that got beat by the police.”
OPERATOR: “OK, how old is he?”
The 47-year-old who gained instant name recognition for getting beaten by Los Angeles police officers in 1991 suddenly needed a rescue that would come too late.
CALLER: “He’s not moving. He’s at the bottom of the swimming pool. … I don’t know. I was asleep. What? Yes, I was sleeping. All of a sudden I heard something fall, like the table, then I looked over and then I went to find him and he’s at the bottom of the swimming pool. He’s still there. Please hurry up!”
Police would spend the day interviewing Rodney King’s fiancée, who said she didn’t go in after him because she can’t swim.
The 5-minute, 15-second phone call ended with the arrival of police officers who pulled King from the pool and began life-saving efforts. He was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Meanwhile, King’s mother would begin to mourn the loss of her son, who lived a troubled life but never lost his kind heart, she said.
“Even with the waywardness that he had as a son, he had something in that heart that had been instilled from childhood, and that was that he should have deep respect for the heavenly father,” Odessa King told CBS13 in an interview Monday.
Odessa King lives in the Elk Grove home Rodney bought for her after being awarded millions in a civil lawsuit following the beating. He leaves behind his family in the Sacramento area and his three daughters.
“My granddaughter, I just spoke to her today, and she was saying, ‘Grandma, I can focus on the fun times that me and my dad had,” Odessa King said.