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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Panorama City

$25,000 Reward Is Proposed in Attack

February 13, 1999|PATRICK McGREEVY

Two Los Angeles City Council members proposed Friday that the city issue a $25,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the assailants who seriously beat the principal of Burton Street Elementary School in Panorama City.

A motion was submitted by council members Joel Wachs and Mark Ridley-Thomas. The proposed reward, to be considered by the full council Friday, would join $50,000 already offered by the school board and Board of Supervisors.

Principal Norman G. Bernstein told police that his attackers told him they did not want him at the school because he is white, causing the Police Department to investigate the Feb. 1 attack as a possible hate crime.

"The beating of Principal Bernstein is a disturbing reminder that there is still hate in our city despite the great progress that we have made in combating prejudice and hate over the last few years," the council motion states.

The motion states the attackers "could further terrorize and present a continuing and immediate menace to the rights and safety of persons in the city."

The $25,000 reward is normally the amount set for homicides, but the motion said the beating was "especially heinous and cruel" and therefore the maximum possible city reward was justified.

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