Rodney King shot, wounded near California home

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Rodney King, whose videotaped beating once made him an international symbol of police brutality, suffered minor injuries after getting hit by a shotgun blast, authorities in California said on Thursday.

An intoxicated King summoned officers to his home in Rialto, about 60 miles (96 km) east of Los Angeles, on Wednesday night to report he had been shot, said Sgt. Don Lewis of the Rialto Police Department.

“He had some minor pepper wounds that looked like they were from bird shot,” said Lewis, who described the injuries as “extremely minor.”

Lewis said King told police the shooting took place while he was riding his bicycle in neighboring San Bernardino. King rode his bicycle home after the incident and it was not immediately clear who fired the shot, Lewis said.

“(King) and the whole house were very intoxicated and very uncooperative,” Lewis said.

King was treated at a local hospital, and the investigation was turned over to San Bernardino police.

King’s videotaped beating by Los Angeles police at the conclusion of a high-speed chase on March 3, 1991, caused an international furor amid charges of brutality and racism.

The acquittal of four officers in April 1992 touched off some of the worst urban riots in modern U.S. history -- causing more than 50 deaths, thousands of injuries and more than $1 billion in damage.

Two of the officers, Laurence Powell and Stacey Koon, were later convicted of federal charges and sentenced to 30-month prison terms.

A civil jury awarded King $3.8 million in damages.