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King Trial Outcome

April 25, 1993

You recently published a column lamenting the silence and lack of unity among Latino leaders in Los Angeles regarding the King verdict and trial ("Where Are the Latino Voices?" Commentary, April 14). In 1992, you published a near identical column ("A Power Fight That's Weakening Us," June 10). Countless other stories in The Times have highlighted a perceived division among Latino leaders.

I therefore found it ironic, even disheartening, that The Times gave short shrift to an unprecedented Latino unity meeting the day before the King verdict. At this historic event, virtually every major Latino leader in Los Angeles--Supervisor Gloria Molina, City Council members Richard Alatorre and Mike Hernandez, County Dist. Atty. Gil Garcetti, Reps. Esteban Torres and Xavier Becerra, L.A. School Board President Leticia Quezada, Assembly members Martha Escutia, Hilda Solis, Louis Caldera and Grace Napolitano, among others--came together in the spirit of unity to appeal for peace and calm and respect for the law. The group also unanimously pledged to sponsor a comprehensive Latino summit in the near future to address the critical, important issues facing Latinos in the Los Angeles area.

Rather than give this the attention it deserved, The Times chose to make it a brief appendage to an existing story on the King verdict.

If Latino unity is so important to The Times, then perhaps unity should receive the attention it deserves. Considering that Latinos represent about 40% of the population of greater Los Angeles, that's not asking for much.

SEN. ART TORRES

D-Los Angeles

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