Looking at the Second Rodney King Trial

I was glad to see in the editorial "Justice in King Trial II," Aug. 11, the recommendation for unbiased judgment in this second trial of four police officers who beat black motorist Rodney King. There seems to be a double standard at work: one to scrutinize law enforcement for possible faults in procedure, the other to overlook or minimize criminal misdeeds.

As this trial proceeds, we read surprisingly little about King's three arrests since the one that caused such chaos or of his arrests that preceded it. King is seen as a pathetic victim of racial persecution. This is due mainly to segments of a videotape shown unceasingly by the media, and one which our society has taken as the whole truth.

As these law officers endure this second trial, it is well for their jurors to remember that they were in the line of duty. If what might appear as excessive force was used to meet King's persistent resistance, that should not change the perspective that the police were dealing with blatant crime. The criminal cause does not deserve turning everything upside down to serve it. Judy Patterson, Bakersfield, Calif.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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