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The Fuhrman Tapes : THE O.J. SIMPSON MURDER TRIAL

Out of the jury’s presence, Judge Lance A. Ito allowed taped conversations of Mark Fuhrman to be disclosed by O.J. Simpson’s lawyers in their effort to challenge the detective’s earlier sworn testimony that he had not used the word nigger for 10 years. Because his use of the offensive racial epithet has become a pivotal issue in the trial, it has been included in the selected statements below, which were made since 1985.

“We got females . . . and dumb niggers [in the department], and all your Mexicans that can’t even write the name of the car they drive.”

“Cmdr. Hickman . . . should be shot. . . . He wanted to be chief. So he wants the City Council and the police commissioner and all these niggers in L.A. city government--and all of ‘em should be lined up against a wall and f------ shot.”

“When I came on the job, all my training officers were big guys and knowledgeable. Some nigger’d get in their face, they just spin ‘em around, choke ‘em out until they dropped.”

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“I used to go to work and practice movements. Niggers. They’re easy. And I used to practice my kicks. . . “

“Westwood is gone. The niggers have discovered it. When they start moving into Redondo and Torrance--that’s considered--Torrance is considered the last middle-class white society. When that falls. . . .”

“It’s pretty clear-cut who the a------- are. You go to Pacoima, you got bikers and niggers.”

“Nigger drivin’ a Porsche that doesn’t look like he’s got a $300 suit on, you always stop him.”

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“How do you intellectualize when you punch the hell out of a nigger? He either deserves it or he doesn’t.”

“Why don’t you give them the 77th lie detector test? You know, everybody--and a bunch of guys will laugh--old-timers, you know. And then one kid will ask his partner, ‘What’s that?’ You keep choking him out until he tells you the truth. You know it is kind of funny. But a lot of policemen will get a kick out of it. Anyway, so you are in the shadows like that. Now you’re--when you are talking to somebody it is not like you are really listening into their words because you’ll key on what is the truth and what isn’t. First thing, anything out of a nigger’s mouth for the first five or six sentences is a f------ lie. That is just right out. There has got to be a reason why he is going to tell you the truth.”

“Where would this country be if every time a sheriff went out with a posse to find somebody who just robbed and killed a bunch of people, he stopped and talked to them first. To make sure they had guns. Tried to take them--they shot them in the back. We still should be shooting people in the back. It’s just that you’ve got to hire people who are capable of doing it. And capable of figuring out who the bad guys are.”

“Now the department says we shoot to stop, not kill, which is b---s---. The only way you can stop somebody is to kill the son of a bitch. And what’s the big deal? If you’ve got a reason to shoot somebody, you’ve got a reason to kill him.”

“See, if you did the things that they teach you in the academy, you’d never get a f------ thing done. . . . You split up two suspects and you say: ‘Where’re you from? What’s his name?’ That’s great, but if he doesn’t tell you, you give him a shot in the stomach with your stick and say: ‘Listen boy, I’m talking to you, and you better give me some attention or I’m gonna f------ drop you like a bad habit.’ Now can you tell me a female you see doing that? . . . You learn that when somebody pushes, if you can’t beat ‘em face on, you sneak up behind ‘em and just grab ‘em by the hair and keep punchin’ ‘em, until they go down. I learned that a long time ago, and when I went into the service, it’s the same thing. I only go so far, and they teach you, you don’t have to go. No, you don’t have to let anybody push you. Somebody touches you, you just knock ‘em down. I mean, that’s all there is to it. You get in the academy, and I thought the Police Academy was fun. I got to work out on duty, get to wrestle, get to eat up here, nice pine trees, restaurant.”

“It’s like my partner now. He’s so hung up on the rules and stuff. I get pissed sometimes and go, ‘You just don’t even f------ understand. This job is not rules. This is a feeling. F--- the rules; we’ll make them up later. . . . He doesn’t know how to be a policeman. ‘I can’t lie.’ . . . Oh you make me f------ sick to my guts. You know you do what you have to do to put these f------ a------- in jail.”

“He [a former partner] is the kind of guy that gets some jerk-off like some Mexican, you know, riding a skateboard. Some gang member. You know he stole the skateboard from some patty cake. But you can’t really arrest him for anything. So while I’m talking to the kid, Tom’s putting the skateboard underneath the tire of the police car. ‘OK, let’s go.’ Something goes bump. ‘What was that?’ ‘Don’t worry about it. . . .’ ”

“When I was working gang, we used to take people, you know. We’d get a murder. We’d have a murder. And sometimes two or three murders. And you’d know which gang did it. But they wouldn’t talk. So I would go and pick up three or four gang members and bring them to the station. Take one in the basement and beat the dog s--- out of him. And not even asking him a question. Bring him up and sit him down. He’s bleeding. Face is all puffed up, got hurt. Next guy, take him downstairs. ‘OK, who shot him?’ . . . That’s how you get information. What is this patty cake, patty cake . . . psychology? Well, we have to teach our officers some Spanish. This is America. We don’t speak Spanish here. Work Mexican gangs, and I don’t know how to speak any Spanish. . . . When they speak Spanish. ‘ No comprende .’ Slap them upside the head. Then they speak English. I’m an English teacher. Just like that. That’s police work. . . .”

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“I’ve been on several calls in West L.A. where I’m in the third or fourth call--third or fourth car--and I end up handling the whole situation. . . . Then you go to court and I’m the only one who knows how to testify. The D.A. goes, ‘Yeah, but you were the fourth car there.’ But would you testify? ‘Yeah, but you didn’t see'--I saw it. Don’t worry about it. Yeah, I saw him do that. Yeah, yeah. OK. Goodby. Why do I have to do everything? That’s what it is coming down to. I have to fight the guy. I have to catch the guy. I have to keep the guy’s mouth shut at the station because they are not going to do it for a female. I can just walk by and go, ‘Shut up or I’m going to kick your face in. . . .’ ”

“You have to be a switch-hitter. You have to be able to look at your area and look at how you talk to people, look at how you deal with things and what you can and can’t do, even with a criminal. You can’t go up in Bel-Air. And some guy gives you a hard time in broad daylight. And slap them. ‘Damn it, I want to know what’s going on.’ You just don’t do that. I mean, it’s obvious. But when you work down in the south end, Watts, the metropolitan area, you work Skid Row, you use your stick more than your mouth. You don’t care. Don’t try to tell people to go there, go there. You just use your stick. They’ll move. They see no problem with that. They’re where they are not supposed to be.”

“I’m the key witness in the biggest case of the century. And if I go down, they lose the case. The glove is everything. Without the glove--bye, bye.”


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