OJ case officer emerges as 'torturer'

In gruesome passages from what have become known as the Fuhrman tapes in the OJ Simpson trial, the former detective Mark Fuhrman says he went on a beating spree and "basically tortured" suspects after two Los Angeles policemen were shot and wounded in 1978.

The tapes, which have not yet been ruled admissible in the double-murder trial of the American-football star, lend credibility to the defence's contention that Mr Fuhrman was a corrupt and racist police officer capable of planting evidence against Mr Simpson, who is black. They also may have profound implications for the Los Angeles Police Department as a whole.

In the transcripts from a 1985 interview given to a would-be screenwriter, Laura Hart McKinny, Mr Fuhrman describes how, after two policemen were shot in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles, he chased four suspects into an apartment, kicked the door down, and put a gun to the head of a girl to use her as a shield.

"There were four policemen, four guys. We broke 'em,'' he said. ''Their faces were mush.''

''They had pictures of the walls with blood all the way to the ceiling and finger marks of trying to crawl out of the room," Mr Fuhrman said in the transcripts, obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

In a police inquiry Mr Fuhrman brags that the authorities "knew damn well I did it" but he escaped any punishment. "There was nothing they could do about it. I mean, we could have murdered people."

The similarities between Mr Fuhrman's account and police records of an incident in Boyle Heights bolster the contention of Mr Simpson's lawyers that Mr Fuhrman was not making up details to impress the screenwriter, as his lawyers have suggested. A police evaluation of Mr Fuhrman in 1979 stated that he became "easily aggravated and argumentative" with a suspect and responded "with antagonism''.

Prosecutors in the Simpson case have long argued that the defence's attack on Mr Fuhrman's character and credibility does not prove he planted the bloody glove that he said he found on Mr Simpson's estate on the night Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were murdered. The defence challenge, the prosecution says, is intended only to distract from the question of Mr Simpson's guilt or innocence in the deaths of his ex-wife and her friend.

"Whatever his personal beliefs may be," said the deputy district attorney, Marcia Clark, on Wednesday, "the truth of the matter is that he could not have done what they're trying to prove he did."

In transcripts yet to be released, Mr Fuhrman allegedly uses the word ''nigger'' 30 times and describes 17 ways of planting and fabricating evidence. On the witness-stand Mr Fuhrman said he had struck the "n-word" from his vocabulary for the past 10 years.

Judge Lance Ito has not yet said when he will rule on the admissibility of the Fuhrman tapes, which have been edited to remove references to the judge's wife, Captain Margaret York. Capt York was Mr Fuhrman's police supervisor, and he allegedly makes detrimental comments about her on the tapes.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Call Centre Manager - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This innovative online car purc...

Recruitment Genius: Subscriptions and Marketing Assistant

£12500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A subscriptions and marketing a...

Metail Ltd: Business Development Manager for Asia Pacific

£35,000 - £40,000 based on experience : Metail Ltd: As a Business Development ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Supervisor

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a well establis...

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate