Mourners arrive for Rodney King service at Forest Lawn-Hollywood Hills
According to a Forest Lawn service director, a private memorial has been scheduled for family and close friends and invited guests before the 2 p.m. funeral service.
Walking through the foyer, guests passed a large photograph of a smiling King, set on an easel before a painting depicting the writing of the Declaration of Independence entitled “The Day of Decision.” They signed a guest book, paused before a scrapbook with clippings from those fateful days in 1991 and 1992, and stepped into a 1,200-seat auditorium.
Inside, a slide-show depicted scenes from King’s life, playing above the open casket. The words "Can We All Just Get Along" were embroidered on the open lid.
Forest Lawn workers directed dozens of mourners into the auditorium, gathering them in small groups in the absence of a formal guest list.
King, who became a symbol in the civil rights struggle after being brutally beaten by Los Angeles police two decades ago, was found dead June 17 at his Rialto home.
Kali Bowyer, a publicist for the family, said the service would be open to the public but seating was limited. She said the family has “the majority” of funeral costs covered but still seeks donations to help cover flowers, programs and other costs.
Kings’ three daughters have established the Rodney Glen King Memorial Fund through Bank of America in Los Angeles County, and Bowyer said interested donors may contribute by calling or stopping at a BofA branch. She said the daughters were still searching for King’s life insurance policy and were undecided on what to do with his house.
“What they want to do is just be able to put their father to rest and have some closure,” Bowyer said.
King was awarded a $3.8-million settlement following the police beating and the ensuing riots that swept Los Angeles, but the money and fame brought him little solace. He had repeated run-ins with the law and as of April he said he was broke.
-- Thomas Curwen and Sandy Banks at Forest Lawn-Hollywood Hills
Photo: Rodney King in 1992. Credit: Robert Sullivan / AFP/GettyImages