LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The O.J. Simpson acquittal brought cheers from the crowd outside the courthouse and in the poor South Central apartment building where one juror lives. In Nicole Brown Simpson's trendy Brentwood neighborhood, there were sighs of disgust.

``You make a lot of money and I guess you can commit murder,'' Elizabeth Condelli, who said she knew Nicole Brown Simpson through their children's school, said at Starbucks coffee shop.

Downtown, the reaction was elation. Most of the crowd of more than 1,000 people pressing police barricades outside the Criminal Court Building cheered wildly as not guilty verdicts were played on portable radios.

The crowd silently listened as the verdicts announcement approached. Some chanted, ``Justice means acquittal, acquittal means justice'' followed by shouts of ``Free O.J.!''

When the verdict came at 10:10 a.m., there was uproarious cheering that continued for several minutes. Fists punched skyward in solidarity and others hugged in joy.

``I never had any doubt of his innocence,'' said Arthur Patrick. ``I did have doubts about the system. I'm sure there is a criminal justice system for blacks in this country. And that's the message we get today.''

At the South Central apartment building where juror Beatrice Wilson lives, a huge cheer went out that could be heard through open apartment windows as the verdict was read. Security officials blocked all public access to her apartment building, allowing only visitors inside.

Residents and security officials watched the trial on a television set in the lobby.

After the verdicts were read, Simpson was driven home in a white van along Southern California freeways, with news helicopters following. The sight was eerily reminiscent of the slow-speed chase in a white Bronco just before he surrendered at his house on June 17, 1994.

The crowds outside the courthouse began forming before dawn. Linda Johnson Phillips, who has sat in on the O.J. Simpson trial 44 times, showed up at 4:30 a.m. today for another chance, this time to witness the climax of the so-called trial of the century.

She got it.

``I made it for all the big ones _ Fuhrman, Kato, Rosa _ I saw them all. I was here twice during the DNA part, but I stayed away for most of that. I guess I'm just lucky,'' the Los Angeles resident said.

Helicopters buzzed over the courthouse, police squad cars cruised downtown streets and barricades blocked traffic in front of the Criminal Courts Building.

Across from the courthouse, television lights bathed ``Camp O.J.'' as national TV correspondents analyzed and waited for the verdicts.

Radio station KFI broadcast live from across the street. ``Oh, this is exciting!'' bellowed talk show host Bill Handel.

The news media outnumbered spectators by 2-to-1 in the bright morning sunshine. The temperature was expected to peak at 100 degrees later in the day.

In Brentwood, Simpson's mother, adult children and sisters climbed into black stretch limousines at Simpson's estate shortly after 8 a.m. for the 15-mile ride to the courthouse. They were grim-faced and the procession looked like a funeral cortege.

Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies restricted access to the areas around the murder scene and Simpson's home, turning away anyone who didn't have a reason to be there. There were security sweeps in and around the courthouse.

As a sea of reporters and camera crews awaited the arrival of Simpson attorneys there, vendors sold Simpson-themed wares: T-shirts, watches, buttons and the like.

One man hoisted a sign with his opinion on the trial: ``Stop LAPD'' the placard read. Another man held a sign reading, ``In the end ... Keep the peace,'' and latecomers held signs reading, ``Support the Jury.''