Rodney King

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Rodney King, whose beating by Los Angeles police in 1991 was caught on camera and sparked riots after the acquittal of the four officers involved, was found dead in his swimming pool Sunday, authorities and his fiancee said. He was 47.

Police in Rialto, California, received a 911 call from King's fiancee, Cynthia Kelly, about 5:25 a.m., said Capt. Randy De Anda. Responding officers found King at the bottom of the pool, removed him and performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation until paramedics arrived. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital, police said.

There were no preliminary signs of foul play, De Anda said, and no obvious injuries on King's body. Police are conducting a drowning investigation, he said, and King's body would be autopsied.

Rodney King's Legacy

Kelly -- who was a juror in King's lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles in 1994 -- told police King was an "avid swimmer," but that she was not, De Anda said. She reported the two had just had a conversation and she went inside, but came back out after hearing a splash and saw him at the bottom of the pool.

De Anda said he did not see any drug paraphernalia "or anything that would indicate that Mr. King was intoxicated" at the scene, but a toxicology screen would be performed.

King's beating after a high-speed car chase and its aftermath forever changed Los Angeles, its police department and the dialogue on race in America.

"I am saddened by the death of Rodney King," said Bernard Parks, a Los Angeles city councilman who served as LAPD chief from 1997 to 2002. "Although his beating will forever be thought of as one of the ugliest moments in the history of the city of Los Angeles and its police department, the victimization of Mr. King and the circumstances that followed created an atmosphere that allowed LAPD and the city to make historic disciplinary and community-based reforms that have made for a better police department and a better city as a whole."

"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. Al Sharpton said in a statement. "It was his beating that made America focus on the presence of profiling and police misconduct."

King was 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.

Related: Rodney King looks back without anger

He realized he couldn't outrun the police, but looked for a public place to stop. "I saw all those apartments over there, so I said, 'I'm gonna stop right there,'" he said. "'If it goes down, somebody will see it.'"

An amateur cameraman caught the scene as four white police officers struck King more than 50 times with their wooden batons and used a stun gun on him.

King said as the officers beat him, they yelled, "We are going to kill you, n***er," although the officers denied using racial slurs.

The video shows King cowering on the ground and attempting to crawl away as he is surrounded by a crowd of police officers. Four of them used their nightsticks to strike him.

King was beaten nearly to death. Three surgeons operated on him for five hours.

The video of the beating appeared on national television two days later, focusing attention on the issue of racially-motivated police brutality.

"We finally caught the Loch Ness Monster with a camcorder," King attorney Milton Grimes said.

Four LAPD officers -- Theodore Briseno, Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind and Sgt. Stacey Koon -- were indicted on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and excessive use of force by a police officer.

But following a three-month trial in the predominantly white Los Angeles suburb of Simi Valley, three of the officers were acquitted of all charges. The jury, which had no black members, deadlocked on one charge of excessive force against Powell, and a mistrial was declared on that charge.

Powell's attorney, Michael Stone, said earlier this year the unedited video worked against King and helped prove the officers' case.

"Most of the nation only saw a few snippets where it's the most violent," Stone said. "They didn't see (King) get up and run at Powell."

But African-Americans in Los Angeles exploded in outrage. Rioters ran through the streets -- looting businesses, torching buildings and attacking those who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. The violence was responsible for more than