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Looking at the Second Rodney King Trial

I was glad to see in the editorial "Justice in King Trial II," Aug. 11, the recommendation for unbiased judgment in this second trial of four police officers who beat black motorist Rodney King. There seems to be a double standard at work: one to scrutinize law enforcement for possible faults in procedure, the other to overlook or minimize criminal misdeeds.

As this trial proceeds, we read surprisingly little about King's three arrests since the one that caused such chaos or of his arrests that preceded it. King is seen as a pathetic victim of racial persecution. This is due mainly to segments of a videotape shown unceasingly by the media, and one which our society has taken as the whole truth.

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As these law officers endure this second trial, it is well for their jurors to remember that they were in the line of duty. If what might appear as excessive force was used to meet King's persistent resistance, that should not change the perspective that the police were dealing with blatant crime. The criminal cause does not deserve turning everything upside down to serve it. Judy Patterson, Bakersfield, Calif.

Judiciary experts have said that it is not lawful for the four police officers acquitted in the Rodney King case to be tried again for the same offense. If another jury is shown the complete tape, isn't it likely that the men will be acquitted again? Is it more than possible that in the case of acquittal, riots will be far more devastating than what we have already seen?

Are we to be swayed by Rodney King plaintively asking if we can get along? Before more time passes and before more damage is done, may we have a complete account? The media are not being honest with the public and not serving us all the facts - only 90 seconds. Jacqueline MacDermott, Bangor, Maine Equality vs. labeling

The question is: Who decided that the term "African-American" should be used and by what authority did the term come into usage? Insisting upon using the term helps to separate Americans.

If that is the case, then the civil rights marches and the people who gave their lives for inclusivity and change did these things in vain; and we are headed back to the same segregated formats we had in the past.

We are also always parenthetically labeled in news stories: Gen. Colin Powell (first black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff), David Dinkins (first black mayor of New York city).

History tells us that in 1619 human beings were first brought to this country from Africa and enslaved. The 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the Constitution corrected the injustice.

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And after 373 years we should qualify as American, not black, not African-American - just American. Lewis H. Hammond, Louisville, Ky.

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