LOS ANGELES — Rodney G. King, whose beating in 1991 by the police was captured on video and led to riots in Los Angeles the next year after officers involved in the case were acquitted, was found dead early Sunday in his home about 50 miles east of here, police officials said.
The police in Rialto, Calif., said they received a 911 call from Mr. King’s fiancée, Cynthia Kelley, at 5:25 a.m. Sunday, in which she reported finding him at the bottom of his swimming pool. Mr. King, 47, had been living in Rialto, a small middle-class city, for several years.
Police arrived and removed Mr. King’s body from the pool and tried to resuscitate him. He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead at 6:11 a.m.
Lt. Dean Hardin of the Rialto police said that officers were investigating the case as a drowning and that there are no signs of foul play.
The San Bernardino County coroner’s office will perform an autopsy.
In the two decades since the riots, Mr. King had several run-ins with law enforcement and battled alcoholism.
In April, Mr. King published a memoir detailing his struggles, saying in several interviews that he was hopeful, but that he had not been able to find steady work and was essentially broke. Mr. King was stopped on March 3, 1991 by four police officers, who kicked him, struck him dozens of times with batons and shot him with stun guns. Many people thought the video alone would lead to the conviction of the officers, but in 1992 a jury in Simi Valley, Calif., acquitted three of the officers and a mistrial was declared for the fourth.
The riots began almost immediately in South Los Angeles and spread through the city for three days, leaving 55 people dead and destroying many buildings. The videotape of Mr. King’s beating had inflamed racial tension in the city, where many African-Americans were already frustrated about their treatment at the hands of the Los Angeles Police Department.
During the height of the violence, Mr. King famously asked during a news conference: “Can we all get along?”