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Rights Groups Support Verdicts, Urge Economic, Police Reforms

April 18, 1993

Leaders of five civil rights organizations expressed satisfaction Saturday with the Rodney G. King jury verdicts but displeasure with the pace of the city's economic revitalization and with police reform since last year's disturbances.

They called for President Clinton to hold a town hall meeting in Los Angeles to address the economic problems and recovery of South-Central Los Angeles. They also sent a seven-page letter to Mayor Tom Bradley expressing concerns about the failure of the Los Angeles Police Department to implement reforms suggested by the Christopher Commission.

The organizations urged Bradley to take steps to speed up reforms, including hiring more minorities and counseling officers who may have behavioral problems.

Signing the letter were the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, Greater Watts Justice Center, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

"We urge you to take the steps necessary to complete the reform process not next year or even next month but today," the letter stated.

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