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Police Brutality Hearings Begin in L.A.

TWO hearings are scheduled for Dec. 3-4 to examine police practices and local governments' response to police brutality in the aftermath of the Rodney King beating, a prominent national civil rights organization announced FridayThe Los Angeles hearings will be the fourth of several sessions scheduled by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in seven United State cities to examine police issues. Hearings have concluded in Norfolk, Va.; Miami; and Houston, with others planned for Boston, St. Louis, and Indianapolis. Joseph Duff, president of the Los Angeles NAACP chapter, said the hearings are designed to examine all aspects of police practices and the various reforms initiated since the King beating. "The Los Angeles hearings will take the pulse of what is happening with respect to police practices, both negative and positive, in the Los Angeles metropolitan area in the wake of the King incident and the Christopher commission response," Mr. Duff said. The March 3 beating of black motorist Rodney King, captured on videotaped and broadcast worldwide, touched off an unprecedented review of police brutality in American cities. The Christopher commission, formed under the direction of former deputy Secretary of State Warren Christopher to examine the possible causes and remedies of police abuse in the Los Angeles Police Department, has recommended a series of reforms beginning with the retirement of Police Chief Daryl Gates and revising policing techniques to include more community involvement. A report based on the national hearings will be published sometime next year, NAACP officials said.

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