A public memorial for Rodney King will be held Saturday at Forest Lawn cemetery in the Hollywood Hills. King died two weeks ago of what police believe was an accidental drowning at his home in Rialto.
King’s family, friends and a host of civil rights leaders and celebrities are expected to attend the service, which is being held in an auditorium on the grounds of Forest Lawn. The King family set up a bank fund to help pay for the funeral, which could exceed $20,000.
“Rodney King’s three daughters will be there, also his mom Odessa, his sister Ratasha, and Rodney has three brothers, which many people don’t realize," said Alan Spear, spokesman for the family.
Jesse Jackson, the Reverend Al Sharpton and others are expected to eulogize King. Many of King’s relatives are devout Jehovah’s Witnesses and may hold a separate memorial at a later date.
His videotaped beating at the hands of Los Angeles police officers 21 years ago turned him into a reluctant symbol of police misconduct. The officers' acquittal sparked a week of deadly riots. King later won a multimillion-dollar civil lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles.
Rodney King died of what police say was an accidental drowning. King admitted to a lifelong struggle with alcohol and drug abuse. Results of an autopsy and toxicology tests are expected to be released next month.