CNN O.J. Simpson Trial

Fuhrman tapes take center stage; Goldman family is incensed

[Goldman family] August 29, 1995

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Taped comments by former Los Angeles Police Detective Mark Fuhrman, including numerous racial slurs, took center stage Tuesday at the O.J. Simpson murder trial.

At a hearing without the jury present, Laura Hart McKinny, a screenwriter testified Tuesday that she began a dialogue with Los Angeles Police Det. Mark Fuhrman because she was interested in writing about women in law enforcement.

McKinny said she met Fuhrman in 1985 when he walked up to her in a cafe and began asking questions about her laptop computer. McKinny said she told Fuhrman she was working on a possible screenplay about women in law enforcement. She said Fuhrman told her he had strong feelings on that issue and that he belonged to a group called "Men Against Women."

Fuhrman, who has now retired from the Los Angeles police, found a bloody glove at O.J. Simpson's mansion the morning after Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were murdered. The defense claims Fuhrman is a racist who planted the glove to frame O.J. Simpson.

Judge Lance Ito will make the ultimate decision on which parts, if any, of the tape transcripts will be shown to the Simpson jury. She said she taped her interviews with Fuhrman because "I needed to hear his words for dialogue purposes."

Over the course of 15 interviews, said McKinny, the nature of the interviews changed. At first, she said, she wanted to listen to him and hear his dialogue. Later, she said, Fuhrman answered questions to specific questions about a story she was developing for a film treatment.

"Was the word 'nigger' ever used," asked defense attorney Gerald Uelmen.

"Yes," said McKinny.

[Laura McKinny] McKinny said she made transcripts of the 14 interviews that were taped and gave Fuhrman copies of those interviews. She said that tapes of at least two interviews were "taped over" and lost.

At times, said McKinny, she was offended by Fuhrman's comments but did not speak to him about them. McKinny said she had taken a "journalistic" approach to the interviews and did not want to interrupt or stop the person she was interviewing even though she might not agree with them.

She said she explained to Fuhrman that his role would be "to help give me some ideas from the point of view of some men who might belong to this particular group, "Men Against Women," and how men would be frustrated by some of the actions of some women."

McKinny said she wanted to know "what kinds of things they would do to possibly stone-wall women or make it un- comfortable (for) them (and) how they might react (if they) were partnered with women."

The information she wanted Fuhrman to convey, said McKinny, "would be something that would help me develop a story wherein a very competent woman officer is transferred into a precinct where there is high crime and she is forced to work with an officer who is a member of this particular group, 'Men Against Women.'"

"We came in as a gang unit. We were tight. I mean we could have murdered people and got away with it."

--Mark Fuhrman

McKinny said she needed to know what the working relationship would be like, what some of the frustrations would be, and what situations might occur. Her goal, said McKinny, was to produce "a fictional story based on reality."

Uelmen then went over with McKinny a series of excerpts from the transcripts that the defense intends to use to show that Fuhrman made racist statements and that they were his opinions.

Fuhrman says on the tapes: "I had 66 allegations of brutality.... under cover of authority, assault and battery under cover of authority... um... torture... all kinds of stuff. Two of my buddies were shot and ambushed...policemen. Both alive and I was the first unit on the scene. Four suspects ran into a 2nd story in an apartment project. We kicked the door down. we grabbed a girl that lived of their girlfriends...grabbed her by the hair and stuck a gun to her head and used her as a barricade. Walked up and told em' I've got this girl. I'll blow her f***n' brains out if you come out with a gun....held her like this. Threw the bi**h down the stairs, deadbolted the door. 'Let's play boys.'"

MCKINNY: "Can we use that story?"

FUHRMAN: "It hasn't been seven years....statute of limitations."

Later in the tapes Fuhrman says: "I mean you don't shoot a policeman. That's all there is to it. But anyway the point is, hell, they know I did it. They know damn well I did it. There's nothing they can do about it cause we all, most of those guys work 77th together. We came in as a gang unit. We were tight. I mean we could have murdered people and got away with it. we were tight. We all knew what to say. We didn't have to call each other and say "okay." We all knew what to say."

MCKINNY: "Yeah, but I mean, the point of it is, you're not - - you don't mean that you want to murder people?"

FUHRMAN: "Sure we do."

MCKINNY: "It's just you have to kill people."

FUHRMAN: "We love to."

MCKINNY: "Oh, not everybody you know, wants--just run around murdering people, just to murder people."

FUHRMAN: "Most real good policemen understand that they would just love to take certain people and just take them to the alley and just blow their brains out."

MCKINNY: "Certain people, right. I mean, people that you think--you think--"

FUHRMAN: "All gang members for one."

MCKINNY: "All gang members."

FUHRMAN: "All dope dealers for two."

MCKINNY: "All dope dealers for two."

FUHRMAN: "Now those are the two--two examples -- pimps, three. They're your third... probably the three most worthless type people in a large city."

In the excerpts, Fuhrman repeatedly makes disparaging remarks about women, blacks, and Hispanics. He uses the word "nigger" numerous times.

While Ito said he had heard all the tapes and had read all the transcripts, Uelmen said he wanted to go over them so that Ito would have an idea of what the defense intended to present and how. Uelmen said the defense will attempt to show that these are Fuhrman's opinions and that he was not role playing.

Ito described the tapes as "vital public information".

[605k aiff] But Ron Goldman's father, Fred, angrily condemned the decision to play the tapes in open court. "We came to this court seven months ago expecting a fair trial. My son had a right to it, his family had a right to it, Nicole and her family had a right to it. Instead, we get this crap spewed in front of the cameras for two hours. For what purpose? I'd love to know what the judge had in mind. I think his words made it real clear. This was for public dissemination, for the public to hear, not the jury, for him to make a decision. This was for the public. I didn't know this was a public-- this was a trial in which the public made the decision. I thought it was one in which the jury made the decisions. I don't understand why the hell we had to listen to two hours of this hate. It's disgusting, every word that was said."

Goldman says the Simpson trial has now been turned into the Fuhrman trial and claims the defense is putting on a show to draw attention away from Simpson.


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