Fuhrman’s Legacy Is LAPD Reform
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Misconduct by infamous O.J. Simpson Detective Mark Fuhrman, long gone from the Los Angeles Police Department, continues to spur police reform, according to reports issued Tuesday.
Still smarting from what Chief Bernard Parks called Fuhrman’s ``egregious, systemic misconduct,″ the department’s Mark Fuhrman Task Force identified 23 ``action items″ designed to prevent lying, racism, sexual harassment, excessive force and creating a hostile work environment.
Fuhrman was one of several detectives sent to investigate the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman on June 12, 1994. He found a bloody glove at Ms. Simpson’s condo, then later jumped the gate and found the mate at Simpson’s home.
Of 23 areas identified for correction, 12 have been completed, Parks said, and the balance are expected to be corrected by year’s end.
The recommendations were developed by Internal Affairs investigators who spent 17 months researching Fuhrman and stories he told to writer Laura Hart McKinny in a series of interviews during the 1980s.
The report called on the LAPD to revise its approach to discipline and recommended more thorough investigation of officer histories.
Fuhrman’s explosive statements to McKinny _ racial epithets and boasts about police brutality _ were used to discredit his critical testimony during Simpson’s criminal trial.
Simpson was acquitted of murder charges in the trial, although he was later held liable for the killings in a civil trial.
After the criminal trial, Fuhrman pleaded no contest to a perjury charge after the tapes proved he lied when he denied on the witness stand that he had used a racial epithet during the previous 10 years. He was sentenced to probation and fined $200.
Fuhrman later said that racially charged statements made to McKinny were exaggerations or fabrications created for her screenplay. He has since retired and moved to Idaho.
The report presented Tuesday also showed progress on a separate series of recommendations by the Police Commission’s inspector general regarding discipline of officers for such violations as making false statements and invoking a ``code of silence″ to protect other officers.
Parks said 95 percent of the inspector general’s proposals, including added training in professional ethics, have been accomplished.
``These two reports particularly challenged the department to examine its personnel systems and ensure they not only performed the purpose for which they were intended, but generate public confidence in its police department as well,″ Parks said.