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Simpson attorney questions officer about 'police code'

simpson December 18, 1996
Web posted at: 7:00 p.m. EST

SANTA MONICA, California (CNN) -- O.J. Simpson's lawyer accused a police officer of altering his testimony to cover up for colleagues, including Mark Fuhrman, and claimed police lie to protect each other.

On the stand for the second straight day, an agitated officer Daniel Gonzalez leaned forward in the witness chair Wednesday and defiantly told attorney Robert Baker that he was offended by the questions and their implications.

"Is there any code to cover up for other police officers?" Baker asked.

"You really want to know?" Gonzalez snapped.

"I really want to know," Baker replied.

"You get promoted for burning each other," Gonzalez said, adding he never got promoted. "You have to work internal affairs before you can be a captain. That should tell you something."

Internal affairs is the division that investigates police misconduct.

Gonzalez was the junior officer sent to Nicole Brown Simpson's condominium after she and Ronald Goldman were stabbed to death on June 12, 1994. Gonzalez later went to Simpson's nearby estate.

Simpson, on hand for Wednesday's court session, often rolled his eyes during Gonzalez's testimony. He is being sued by the families of Ms. Simpson and Goldman. Simpson was acquitted last year of murder charges in the case.

Fuhrman led Gonzalez to Bronco

Gonzalez testified that he saw blood inside Simpson's Bronco only after Fuhrman pointed it out. He said he was led to the vehicle by Fuhrman at 5:20 a.m. and shown blood stains over the door handle inside the Bronco.

"You couldn't see anything unless the door was open. Isn't that true, officer Gonzalez?" Baker said.

"No. Not true," Gonzalez responded.

"In fact, you got in the vehicle that night, didn't you?" Baker asked.

"Absolutely not," Gonzalez replied. "There's no way I got inside a locked vehicle. You're saying I got in a vehicle we already decided was evidence."

Baker retorted: "You already determined this was evidence. Is that what you're telling this jury?"

"Yes," Gonzalez said.

Other officers have testified they had no idea at 5:20 a.m. that Simpson was a suspect. Baker also cross-examined Gonzalez about two reports -- one handwritten by Gonzalez and a typewritten statement by Detective Ron Phillips, who was Fuhrman's partner. The reports had a number of discrepancies.

Pressed as to what he "visualized" at Simpson's Rockingham estate, an angered Gonzalez said: "Once again, I saw blood in the Bronco. I did not 'visualize' nothing. I saw blood."

Meanwhile, a photograph expert, Robert Groden, was expected to take the stand Wednesday to discuss the authenticity of a photograph showing Simpson wearing Bruno Magli shoes, the same type of shoe that matches footprints found at the crime scene.

The defense contends the photograph was doctored.


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