LOS ANGELES — Rodney King was remembered in Los Angeles on Saturday as a forgiving man who bore the scars of his infamous beating with dignity.
The Rev. Al Sharpton, who delivered the eulogy at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, said before the funeral that King never showed bitterness to the officers who beat him.
“People should not be judged by the mistakes that they make, but by how they rise above them,” Sharpton said outside the Hall of Freedom at the sprawling cemetery grounds. “Rodney had risen above his mistakes. He never mocked anyone – not the police, not the justice system, not anyone.”
“He became a symbol of forgiveness,” Sharpton said.
The funeral came nearly two weeks after King was found dead at the bottom of the swimming pool at his Rialto, Calif. home on June 17. He was 47.
Family members held a private service early in the day, followed by a public memorial and burial. Mourners signed a guest book and surveyed newspaper clippings from the days when King dominated headlines in 1991 and 1992. A large photograph of a smiling King was set on an easel.
Daughter Laura Dene King, 28, said she was proud to have had her father in her life for as long as she did, especially considering she almost lost him when she was six years old.
“I will remember his smile, his unconditional love,” she said.
Several donors helped pay for the funeral, the reception afterwards, and other arrangements. Television producer Anthony Zuiker donated $10,000, and said he was at the funeral to show support for King’s family.