Guilty Or Innocent? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   I have mixed feelings about the L.A. rioting and the Rodney King trial in general. I keep playing "devil's advocate" with myself. My initial impression was that the jury decision was wrong and the policemen were clearly guilty of beating an innocent black man.

But then I had another thought , who knows what actually happened before the taping started? It makes me feel horrible to see a human beaten that way, but what if King did something beforehand that made it necessary? It's really one man's word against another's. I really don't like that thought, and I've probably been influenced, but who knows?

Then another feeling came: the policemen had simply misjudged him. But I dismissed that, that's an important misjudgment. It would be hard to misjudge something like that. Another thing , the all-white jury. That made me pretty mad. Why all white? Why this case?

It's weird, having so many totally different views at once.

The second main issue are the riots. I definitely think that those were wrong. It's OK, even right, to think that the jury's ruling is unfair, but think about it , they are complaining that someone beat someone else who was perfectly innocent. They say that it's wrong. It is wrong. But is it not wrong to kill innocent people? Is is right to injure others? It's hypocrisy! I fully realize that they needed to vent some anger, but there has to be a better way.

There's no way to conclude this, because the story hasn't ended yet. But whether guilty or innocent, it's a serious issue which must be given much thought. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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