What They Were Saying

April 18, 1993

"I waited anxiously for the verdict. I was aware of th comprehensive preparations taken by the governor of California and the mayor of Los Angeles, . . . but I was also hoping that those preparations would not be a self-fulfilling prophecy. I was very pleased the jury seemed to make a decision that didn't pander to any side on this issue. They restored some level of confidence in this country's judicial system.

Del. Howard "Pete" Rawlings, D-40th

*

"We seem as a society to soft-pedal crimes when they are committed by the police department. If they do wrong, they should be punished as well as anyone else, no compromise. They convicted two and let two go, so it seems to me like a political and judicial compromise. This verdict from Los Angeles won't hurt the nation but something else will when another incident breaks out someplace else. When an injustice is done on any person, black, white, anybody, there is one standard of justice. With police doing the crime, there is another set and it's absolute hypocrisy.

Jerome Dyson Wright, Baltimore native, ex-offender and author of three books including "Poor, Black and In Real Trouble"

*

"I have seen that tape so many times, and I think in this particular trial the guilty ones were found guilty. Justice was properly served. . . . The national tension this case brought, the eventual verdict by the jury, will change the way the general public, particularly African Americans, view the criminal justice system in America."

Hilton O. Bostick, president, Oliver Community Association

*

"They were tried, convicted and that's our system of justice. I'll stick with the decision. To me, personally, it seems very fair because the jury certainly pondered over it."

Capt. Gary D'Addario, deputy commander, Eastern Police District

*

"I had a general sense of not being surprised by the verdict, and I felt quite relieved at the same time. Had there been a not-guilty all around I would have been concerned again that events would have focused undue attention on this case and on the issue of the notion that courts should solve all of our problems we encounter living together in a diverse culture. The courts have little to do with that. The solution to that is within all of us. We've got to change the way we organize ourselves and how everyone participates in sharing the good fortune of this nation -- some share and others don't. The outcome of the Rodney King trial, to me, was largely unimportant. His first trial helped define the problem. This year, we still have to find the solution."

L John H. Morris, partner, Venable Baetjer and Howard law firm

*

"Hopefully, this will put an end to our worries all the time. As Americans, we all should try to end the tensions between the different communities."

Kap Young Park, owner of grocery store at 1540 S. Charles St.

*

"I'm not happy or sad. I didn't get involved with the nuts and bolts of what went on with the case. My only concern is what goes on in Baltimore, . . . and if Baltimore can remain calm, great. But we were ready. We said all along that we were going to have extra officers."

Sgt. Jerry DeManns, Western District station

*

"They should have all been found guilty. I think they had to find some of them guilty because what happened in L.A. the last time wasn't the right thing."

Adrienne Bourne, Southwest Baltimore resident, interviewed outside the Harlem Park Middle School in West Baltimore

*

"We had two people on the phones, and initially people were curious about the outcome of the verdict. . . . Most of those people were concerned about tension or that violence would erupt. But thankfully everything remained calm. Most of the callers were satisfied with the outcome. Five were not. Calls died down one hour after the verdict was announced. At 12:10 p.m. we had our 61st call, our last."

Thomas Saunders, supervisor of the city Community Relations Commission's rumor hot line

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