Rodney King was not a wealthy man when he died ... and now his family is asking the public for donations so they can pay for a proper burial for the infamous LAPD beating victim.
Despite the fact King scored a $3.8 million settlement from the City of L.A. after the 1992 incident, King's family tells TMZ ... there is basically no money left over to pay for his funeral costs, which are expected to run north of $22k.
The family has now issued a statement, through their rep, Kali Bowyer, asking people to contribute to a memorial fund established "for those who wish to contribute to the King family."
King's 3 adult daughters, along with other family members, are desperately trying to come up with the cash ... but Bowyer tells us, "They need the money."
King is scheduled to be laid to rest on June 30.
As far as the mystery surrounding Rodney's death, the family says, "[We are] looking forward to a swift investigation into the death of our father, as well as we put our faith in the authorities responsible for handling the matter."