Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson Expected to Speak at Rodney King’s Memorial Service

Sharpton calls King a "symbol of civil rights."

Posted: 06/29/2012 12:52 PM EDT
Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are expected to speak at Rodney King’s funeral.

Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are slated to speak at Rodney King's public memorial service Saturday.

"Rodney's death creates a great measure of sadness," Jackson said in a statement after King's death. "He had become a fixture in our lives through both the tragedy and triumphs of his life."

King was found dead in Rialto, California, on June 17 in his backyard swimming pool. Although an investigation has been launched into his death, police say his drowning was accidental. King became a national symbol of police brutality and the face of the 1992 Los Angeles riots after police officers responsible for his brutal beating were acquitted. 

"Rodney King was a symbol of civil rights and he represented the anti-police brutality and anti-racial profiling movement of our time. It was his beating that made America focus on the presence of profiling and police misconduct," Sharpton said in a statement.

Sharpton and Jackson will speak after a 2 p.m. service and dedication ceremony in Hollywood Hills, California, a family spokesperson told the Los Angeles Times.

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