18 Jun 2012

Police beating victim Rodney King found dead

6:06 am on 18 June 2012

The man whose beating at the hands of US police in 1991 led to deadly riots in Los Angeles the following year has been found dead in a swimming pool.

California police say Rodney King, 47, was discovered by his fiancee in Rialto, about 80km east of Los Angeles

The Rialto police department is conducting a drowning investigation and said there were no preliminary signs of foul play.

Rodney King became a national figure in discussions on race and police brutality after he and some friends were stopped by Los Angeles police on 3 March 1991, after a high-speed chase.

He was beaten by baton-wielding officers while a bystander filmed them.

When the officers were cleared of brutality charges, riots broke out in Los Angeles, resulting in 53 deaths and an estimated $US1 billion in damage.