Miami's Verdict

An acquittal sparks violence

Weary Miamians had seen it happen three times since 1982: a black man is fatally shot by a white police officer, who is later acquitted by an all-white jury. Violence ensues. That script was followed inexorably last week when Luis Alvarez, 24, a Cuban police officer, was acquitted of manslaughter charges in the December 1982 shooting of Nevell Johnson Jr., 20, a Dade County messenger.

As the jury began its deliberations, police blocked off Miami's three mainly black communities with barricades. During the first two nights after the acquittal, random sniping, rock throwing and looting led to the arrest...

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