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Start of New King Trial

February 14, 1993

I felt that Mike Davis' glib and trivializing approach to the L.A. riots and the upcoming trials ("New King Trial Starts, but Old Troubles Remain," Opinion, Feb. 7) failed to address the heart of the matter. Davis' "simple morality play," his "something called 'justice,' " is actually the one thing everyone in Los Angeles and the country has absolutely required since the acquittal. Whether you watch the videotape once or 100 times, these policemen viciously beat a man to a pulp unnecessarily and violated the law. America simply will not sleep at night until these men are brought to justice.

As for the uprising, Davis claims that "we are in a headlong retreat from its real issues." He may find it easy to draw that conclusion after a year of political posturing and the media's sensationalized concern, but I see something else. I've met people all around the city who want to see Los Angeles work and who are doing something about it. They are community activists, artists, religious and business leaders, who are working very hard today, right now, with teen-agers, tagger crews and the people and children of your neighborhoods because they know that the "real issue" is to connect with and care about the community.

Pundits and pessimists waiting for Bill Clinton, Police Chief Willie Williams or the new mayor to wave a magic wand are going to wait forever. Only courage, patience and understanding, Angeleno-to-Angeleno, will temper the fires of rage and injustice in our city.

DAVID BECKMAN

Culver City

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