Fuhrman mum in deposition for Simpson civil suit
April 29, 1996
Web posted at: 6:30 p.m. EDT
From Correspondent Charles Feldman
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Former Los Angeles police detective Mark Fuhrman took the Fifth Amendment when questioned Monday for a videotaped deposition in a civil suit against O.J. Simpson, an attorney in the case said.
Fuhrman was questioned for a little more than two hours at the clubhouse at the Twin Lake Village Resort in Rathdrum, Idaho, near his current home.
Ed Medvene, an attorney representing the family of Ron Goldman, told reporters afterwards that Fuhrman stood behind the constitutional protection against self-incrimination on virtually all questions of substance posed to him, and indicated he would decline to answer questions as long as there is an ongoing investigation of him in California.
Any testimony Fuhrman gives in the civil case could be used against him in that investigation, being led by the California attorney general's office.
The civil suit was brought against Simpson by the families of Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson.
Fuhrman, now retired, played a major role in the O.J. Simpson murder trial. In fact, he played a role nearly equal to that of the defendant, as Fuhrman came to be known as the man who found "the glove."
"I looked down and I saw a dark object. I was still probably 15, 20 feet away and I kept walking closer, and then I saw when I was a few feet away that it was a glove," he testified in last year's preliminary hearing. He repeated that testimony during the trial itself, but by then, Simpson's lawyers had effectively undercut him.
Fuhrman was cast as a racist, rough cop who was out to get Simpson and, Simpson's lawyers strongly suggested, may even have planted key evidence. After getting Fuhrman to deny he had ever used what was gingerly referred to as the "N word," Simpson's lawyers revealed they had tapes of Fuhrman using the word in reference to black people.
The contradiction of his testimony, coupled with news that Fuhrman had come under investigation himself for alleged acts of police misconduct, damaged Fuhrman's credibility as one of the prosecution's key witnesses.
In the end, when he was asked whether he had planted or manufactured any evidence in the case, he had to assert his Fifth Amendment privilege.
Experts say the high-profile role Fuhrman played in the criminal trial is not likely to be repeated in the civil suit, mainly because in the civil trial, Simpson himself will have to take the stand -- something he did not do during the criminal proceeding.
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