CNN O.J. Simpson Trial

Emotions high over Simpson verdict

banner on the interstate

Vigil for the victims; remarks from Garcetti; death threats to Browns

October 8, 1995
Web posted at: 10:40 a.m. EDT

From Correspondent Jim Hill and wires

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- O.J. Simpson's courtroom trial may have ended, but many who were unhappy with the verdict continue to say justice was not served.

Brentwood rally

Saturday night, some 2,000 people marched through the Brentwood area of Los Angeles to protest Simpson's acquittal. The procession, sponsored by the National Organization for Women, followed a route similar to one often traveled by Nicole Brown Simpson.

posters at rally

Carrying candles and chanting, the group met at one of Nicole's favorite stores, walked the path she used to jog, and concluded at her home, where she was slain on June 12, 1994. Bearing such signs as "OJ: Coward" and "It wasn't a verdict, it was a pardon," attendees cheered local NOW president Tammy Bruce, who said, "He may have gotten out of a courtroom, but now he will face the courtroom of public opinion."

Protester Alicia Altman said she hoped Simpson would not be rewarded for his behavior. "I just hope that people will not endorse him and give him pay-for-views and all that stuff," she said. "I just think that everybody should just boycott O.J."

Like much of the crowd, Kimberly Ball said she was still reeling from Simpson's acquittal. "I just don't see how that verdict could have come down," Ball said. "It made me sick to my stomach. ... I know that being out here might not be doing anything and it can't change the verdict, but it makes me feel better."

Garcetti

Appearing on CNN's Larry King Live, Los Angeles District Attorney Gil Garcetti echoed Ball's disbelief at the jury's decision. "It was like a body blow," he said.

Garcetti strongly defended his prosecutors' work, saying they made a monumental case against Simpson. "I never in my life have seen so much evidence against any one particular defendant [in a] circumstantial evidence case," he said (196K AIFF sound or 296K WAV sound).

The prosecutors may stand by the facts, but the few jurors who have spoken out say there weren't enough facts to overcome reasonable doubt. Garcetti speculated the jury may have thought that reasonable doubt about a piece of evidence meant reasonable doubt about the entire case.

"It's like if you have a quilt and a thread is loose and they see that thread, they say, 'Forget the rest of the quilt. ... It's not guilty,'" Garcetti said.

Rhodes-Rosborough

But juror Gina Rhodes-Rosborough called his statement "ridiculous." (196K AIFF sound or 196K WAV sound)

After he was acquitted, Simpson said he planned to search for "the real killers," and Garcetti said he would renew the investigation only if given "credible evidence" that anyone other than Simpson had committed the murders (187K AIFF sound or 187K WAV sound). For the time being, he said, he has no reason to reopen the case.

Fallout from the trial has badly tainted the Los Angeles Police Department, accused of employing a racist officer who might have planted evidence against Simpson.

Williams

Police Chief Willie Williams videotaped a message of reassurance to his staff. "It is clear from the comments of the jury that no one seriously believes that any of the men and women of the LAPD conspired in those early hours to frame Mr. Simpson," Williams said.

Still, Garcetti said he believes race may have played a factor in the jury's decision (281K AIFF sound or 281K WAV sound). Rhodes-Rosborough denied that (238K AIFF sound or 238K WAV sound).

At a conference on racial diversity, the daughter of civil rights leader Ralph David Abernathy said she is disappointed the verdict caused racial division. "For that reason alone I am glad that O.J. was found innocent," said Donzaleigh Abernathy. "Because (if he had been found guilty) black America would have risen up and fought and white America would have fought and then only war would have come."

Nicole Simpson's grave

Examples of bitterness over the verdict showed up in public places. One banner above a freeway near Simpson's neighborhood read, "Acquitted, but still a butcher." Another smaller sign on Sunset Boulevard read "Welcome Home: The Brentwood Butcher."

On the other side, Simpson's supporters may be lashing out at Nicole Brown Simpson's family. Members of the Brown family have received some death threats by phone since Tuesday's acquittal, according to the Reuters new agency. Reported targets include Nicole's sisters Denise, Dominique and Tanya.

Denise Brown has been harsh in her criticism of Simpson, who pleaded no contest to spousal abuse of Nicole in 1989.


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AP contributed to this report.