Police in Rialto, California, received a 911 call from King's fiancee, Cynthia Kelly, about 5:25 a.m., said Capt. Randy DeAnda. Responding officers found King at the bottom of the pool, removed him and attempted to revive him. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital, DeAnda said.
There were no preliminary signs of foul play, he said, and no obvious injuries on King's body. Police are conducting a drowning investigation, DeAnda said, and King's body would be autopsied.
King’s beating by Los Angeles police was caught on video in 1991 and sparked the now infamous Los Angeles riots. The four police officers involved were ultimately acquitted.
King was apprehended by LA police after a high speed car chase that resulted in the subsequent beating. The event outraged Americans and subsequently a fervent dialogue on race in America began.
"Rodney King was a symbol of civil rights and he represented the anti-police brutality and anti-racial profiling movement of our time," the Rev.said in a statement. "It was his beating that made America focus on the presence of profiling and police misconduct."
At the time King was only 25 and on parole after a robbery conviction in March 1991. In an interview in 2011, he recalled he had been drinking and was headed home from a friend's house when he saw a police car following him and panicked, thinking he would be sent back to prison. So he attempted to flee.
"I had a job to go to that Monday, and I knew I was on parole, and I knew I wasn't supposed to be drinking, and I'm like 'Oh, my God,'" he told CNN.