recently produced a brilliant
the murder trial of OJ
Simpson. I thought I
knew OJ but after seeing
the documentary I have
concluded that my opinion
of him and the trial
was rather shallow. The “Juice” as he is known to
many was truly a complex piece of work. He was a
great football player and hero to many youngsters.
As his talent on the football field was beginning to
come to an end, he morphed into a public relations
phenomenon. His advertising activities took him
to the top of a new game. He was making millions
without playing any more football. Movies, sports
announcing and a very popular pitchman were
now generating serious money. The Hertz Rental
Car ad became one of the greatest ads of all time.
It was surprising to most Blacks that OJ lost his
identity. OJ became a white man. He no longer
circulated in the Hood. His environment was
Beverly Hills, Malibu, Brentwood, etc. With that
also came his new taste in women. He divorced his
Black wife and married a white 19-year-old waitress.
Pretty soon his new white in-laws started
relying on the revenue that the Juice was making.
They had no shame in not working and the Juice
took care of all of them.
Living in a colorless society was the fantasy that
OJ was in. What a pipe dream! This was Los
Angeles with a racial animus that was like no other
city. One of the worst police forces in our nation,
in regards to racism, is the Los Angeles Police
Department. How did it get this way in a very liberal
West Coast city? According to Elaine Brown
(her book “A Taste of Power”) during the 1930’s
Los Angeles was booming in population growth.
They had a shortage of policemen and went on a
major recruiting project. LAPD noticed at the time
that one of the best trained police forces was
Houston, Texas. Houston police officers received a
$5,000 hiring bonus for joining the LAPD. They
came by the thousands and with them was that
southern racial animus. This transformed the
LAPD into a virtual enemy of Los Angeles Blacks.
OJ’s immense popularity gave him a pass with
the LAPD. When the world learned that OJ’s white
wife was brutally murdered along with Ron
Goldman few suspected the Juice. That quickly
changed when the local press showed the world
that OJ was a wife abuser (documented by 911
complaints. The LAPD pounced on the “brother”.
There was no more whiteness for Mr. Simpson.
Black America can be so forgiving when some
of us betray our heritage and race. This was the
racist LAPD and most of us decided to believe that
OJ was innocent. The documentary showed the
actual murder scene. Nicole Simpson (OJ’s wife)
was pretty much decapitated. Ron Goldman was
repeatedly stabbed. It looked more like ISIS did
this. How could the Juice be so violent? Suddenly,
the white side of Los Angeles flipped their admiration
for the Juice. He became one of the most
hated persons to white America.
It probably could have been a slam dunk murder
case. But there were two big developments. OJ
hired one of the greatest defense lawyers of all time,
Johnnie Cochran. The other development was that
the LAPD is clumsy in their investigations. Their
reputation of evidence tampering, framing and
doctoring the ballistics is notorious. Attorney
Cochran had been fighting the LAPD his entire
career. Also, Cochran was prepared to “rip” prosecuting
attorneys Marcia Clark and Chris Darden.
They were no match.
The trial was fully televised and as it dragged on
Los Angeles became very tense. People were fearing
that if the verdict was guilty another race riot in
the City of Angels was going to be a certainty. The
OJ case was turning into a civil rights issue. The
Black Panthers started demonstrating. The Fruit of
Islam became body guards for Johnnie Cochran.
Blacks and whites would fiercely debate on evening
talk shows. Chris Darden was considered an
“Uncle Tom”. The times became tense and depressing.
It didn’t take long into the trial that Mr.
Cochran and his team started showing flaws in the
police investigation. Missing blood from the vial
taken on OJ. The infamous glove that did not fit.
Most of all, the racist voice tape filled with the N
word by detective Mark Furman started to present
doubt to the jury which was amply filled with
Blacks. The Watts Riot and the Rodney King riot
left no confidence in the LAPD for Black and
brown Los Angeles. Having the venue in downtown
LA was a bad idea for the LA prosecutor. In
retrospect, the jury was tainted by the reputation of
the LAPD. Johnnie Cochran was indeed brilliant.
It didn’t take the jury long to return an innocent
verdict. Black LA exploded with joy while the
white side of town and across America went into
shock. Perhaps it was the greatest trial in history.
But all that mattered was the racial animus of the
Los Angeles Police Department.
Mr. Alford is the co-founder, President/CEO of the
National Black Chamber of Commerce. Website:
www.nationalbcc.org Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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