September 12, 1995
Web posted at: 1 p.m. EDT
From Jennifer Auther
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- In audio tapes now at the center of the O.J. Simpson trial, Los Angeles Police Detective Mark Fuhrman describes one chilling November night in East Los Angeles.
It was 1978. Two officers had been shot. And according to Mark Fuhrman, interrogations in a predominately Mexican- American housing project were especially vicious. "Their faces were just mush," Fuhrman says on the tape. He goes on to describe a scene of carnage. (70.5kb .aiff sound or 70.5kb .wav sound)
"It was blood everywhere," recalls another man, Albert Morales. "Walls outside, yard and walls. I was trying to hold onto the walls."
Albert and his brother Benny Morales say they were victims of the alleged police abuse.
"When I saw my face," recalls Albert. "You didn't know where my eyes started and where they ended at all." Benny says the police officers beat him up and threw him outside (92.5kb .aiff sound or 92.6kb .wav sound). He was later beaten, he says, in the basement of the LAPD's Hollenbeck division.
"I was on a photo lineup, suspect lineup," recalls Fuhrman on one tape. "I was picked out by 12 people. So I was pretty proud of that." Neither Albert nor Benny say they can identify Mark Fuhrman as their attacker. However, their attorney says a third brother can point to the now-retired detective.
"The only one that was identified was Officer Fuhrman," says lawyer Antonio Rodriguez. "He stood out in the crowd. He stood out at the time, November 20, when at the station, when Michael Morales was beat up."
Los Angeles Police Commander Timothy McBride told CNN that an investigation into the 1978 Boyle Heights incident is just getting under way. But at least one retired sergeant who says he was at the scene contradicts both Fuhrman and the Morales brothers about blood left inside the apartment. Mike Middleton says he was in that room and he saw nothing. (128kb .aiff sound or 128kb .wav sound)
In December 1978 attorney Rodriguez filed a complaint on behalf of the Morales brothers. "It went like all complaints go from inner city residents," he remembers. "Poor communities of Latinos and blacks -- they were dismissed outright."
"It was such an awesome road that you had to go on, if you had the nerve to file" says Richard Allatorre of the Los Angeles City Council. "Most young kids at the time would refuse to file because they knew the police officers were still going to be around and they felt that there would be harassment of them."
Benny Morales asserts he and his brothers were harassed long after the incident. Albert, who's working as a drug rehabilitation and gang diversion counselor, says he lost a job for filing the complaint. He says he's stepping forward again now because Fuhrman bragged about what happened that November night.
"After all these years, I have a face to fit my assailant that evening," says Albert. "Back then, justice wasn't done. Hopefully maybe now."
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