October 4, 1995
Web posted at 2:05 p.m. EDT
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- For many observers of the Simpson trial, race was not the issue at all. It was a case of violence against a woman, Nicole Brown Simpson. And scores of women raised signs and voices Tuesday to protest O.J. Simpson's acquittal.
Early in the trial, pictures were shown of a younger, living Nicole with splotchy bruise marks on her face. People heard the famous 911 call she made to police, crying that her husband was going to hurt her.
Simpson pleaded no contest to spousal abuse charges in 1989, but received only "telephone counseling" as his sentence. After the celebrity ex-football player's arrest on murder charges, the Los Angeles County district attorney called that decision "a horrible joke."
Following Tuesday's verdict, anti-violence advocates protested what they saw as another travesty.
"O.J. Simpson was a batterer who was not held fully accountable for his use of violence and threats by a judge who allowed counseling by phone, by police who applied a double standard, and by employers like Hertz and NBC who ignored an arrest for a violent crime," said Judy Rex, who heads the Vermont Network Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.
In the Los Angeles neighborhood where Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were slain, scores of people gathered for a candlelight vigil sponsored by the National Organization for Women. Some quietly mourned the victims of violence, others bore signs with such slogans as "We want justice!" and chanted "Stop the Party O.J.!" and "Guilty!"
Nicole's sister, Denise Brown, joined the protesters, delivering an emotional plea to battered women. "If he hits you once he is going to hit you again," she warned. "If he ever says he is going to kill you, eventually, one day he will, and I want people to understand that. That they do kill, OK? Remember that!" (163K AIFF sound or 163K WAV sound)
Earlier Tuesday, Denise said that although Simpson had not been convicted of murder, he was still a "batterer." She told ABC's Diane Sawyer, "There are notes. There are diaries that Nicole left behind and people can't forget that. It's a shame that kids have to live in a household that's abusive."
Asked how she remembered her late sister, Denise recited a statement Nicole made before the murder: "O.J.'s going to kill me, and he's going to get away with it."(Michael Dowd of Pace University Battered Women's Justice Center, comments in an interview with CNN 263K AIFF sound or 263K WAV sound)
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