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Denny beating trial opens in L.A.

Two black men charged in the videotaped beating of white trucker Reginald Denny during the opening moments of last year's Los Angeles riots go on trial July 28 in what could be a severe test of the city's race relations.

Damian Williams and Henry Watson are accused of attempted murder in the April 29, 1992, attack at a South Central Los Angeles intersection. Mr. Denny was pulled from his rig and beaten as a TV helicopter broadcast the scene live. It was the most searing image of the riots that broke out after four policemen were acquitted on state charges in the Rodney King beating. Denny has been unable to return to work.

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Some fear that the calm that prevailed in Los Angeles with the federal court convictions of the officers in the King case won't hold up if the Denny defendants are convicted.

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