September 29, 1995
Web posted at: 12 a.m. EDT
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- During a break in the O.J. Simpson murder trial Thursday, the father of murder victim Ron Goldman blasted lead defense attorney Johnnie Cochran for invoking racism in his closing argument.
In a highly emotional statement to the press, Fred Goldman repeatedly called Cochran a racist and "disgusting." Goldman appeared to be most upset by Cochran's portrayal of former Los Angeles detective Mark Fuhrman as the mastermind behind an alleged scheme to frame Simpson. (113K AIFF sound or 113K WAV sound)
Goldman said Cochran would have the jury believe "because of racism" they should "put aside all other thought, all other reason and set his murdering client free."
His voice rising to a scream, Goldman said Cochran is "the worst kind of racist himself, someone who shoves racism in front of everything, someone who compares a person who speaks racist comments to Hitler, a person who murdered millions of people." (275K AIFF sound or 275K WAV sound)
As Goldman continued, his wife, Patti, stood behind him holding back tears. As he grew more emotional, Patti Goldman urged him to close his statement. At one point she pressed Goldman on the arm. He waved her away, telling her, "No." (1,598K QuickTime movie)
Goldman, whose emotional press conferences have become a fixture in the case, also attacked Cochran's use of bodyguards from the Nation of Islam.
"This man is sick," Goldman shouted. "He is absolutely sick. He walks about for the past days screaming, if you would, in a silent way, that his life has been threatened, and who does he chose to walk with -- guards from the Nation of Islam? Who does he connect himself with? This man is a horror walking around amongst us."
Goldman's press conference prompted a later press conference by the Simpson family, who defended Cochran and expressed dismay that the Goldman family was making public statements about the trial and its participants.
Simpson's sister Carmelita Durio said racism is a legitimate factor in the case. "We are in a for-real world, and we have dealt with racism in our lives every single day, and if someone cannot accept the fact that we have Mark Fuhrmans walking around in this world, who has collected all of the vital evidence, and they say he's not important in the case; they're living in a fantasy world."
Flanked by Simpson's children Arnelle and Jason Simpson, his mother Eunice and Durio, Simpson's sister Shirley Baker expressed compassion for the Goldman family, but said their remarks were inappropriate. (273K AIFF sound or 273K WAV sound)
"We feel sorry for the Goldman family," she said, "because I see his family in court daily and I know they hurt. I know he (Ron Goldman) must have been a loved person. It also hurts us when we sit in that courtroom and we hear lies said about our brother.
"You don't hear us downing Marcia Clark. It's wrong even when you're hurting. It's wrong for someone to get up and to personally attack our lawyers." (265K AIFF sound or 265K WAV sound)
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