the people vs oj:
22 years later, domestic violence and police mistrust are still relevant today
by tishanna craddock, '18
“If the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit”.
These famous words were spoken by Johnnie Cochran during the O.J. Simpson murder trial that captivated America’s attention, brought 24-hour news coverage to a new level, and ushered in the reality television era.
On June 12th, 1994, it will be 22 years since the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman that led to the then Trial of the Century in 1995. This horrifying double homicide grabbed the whole world’s attention with the story behind it and the person that committed this crime, O.J.. Simpson. News coverage around the case dominated headlines because America had a deep rooted desire to follow the case because of many implications, including race.
Twenty-two years later, the tv show The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story was watched by millions of viewers some whom were already familiar with the “case of the century” but many whom were new to the details of this trial. This show is the first season of the true crime anthropology series American Crime Story by FX Network. The show is based on the trial and the book called The Run of His Life: The People vs. O.J. Simpson, written by author Jeffrey Toobin.
O.J. Simpson is a former football player who was married to Nicole Brown Simpson, who met in June 1977 while he was married to his ex-wife, Marguerite. Nicole and O.J. married in 1985 after eight years of dating. They had two children together, Sydney (born October 1985) and Justin (born in August 1988). Throughout the years of their marriage, Nicole endured domestic abuse from her ex-husband O.J.. which resulted in them divorcing in 1992. Two years later Nicole would be discovered in her walkway nearly decapitated with her friend Ron Goldman a few steps away slain.
As many people around the world watch this case, the question of O.J.’s innocence arouses again. Do you think O.J. did it?
Ever since the first season aired, the O.J. Simpson case has been the subject of conversation among many viewers. The ACS show has many obsessed with the factors of this case, from the domestic violence, Nicole’s diaries, and the stalking that makes O.J.’s involvement in the murders more obvious. The topic of racial issues are brought up since the result of the case caused a huge separation between the Blacks and Caucasian Americans.
There was also a lot of backlash from the people that were involved in this case such as officer Mark Fuhrman and Tanya Brown, the sister of victim Nicole Brown Simpson. Former LAPD officer Fuhrman believed that way his character was portrayed in this show was very untruthful. He also believed that the FX series wasn’t going to focus on the victims and that it was going to “elevate a narcissistic,violent man to victim status just because he was a black athlete.” Tanya Brown expressed her anger towards the actors and producers for not reaching out to her family. She also criticized FX Network’s empathy towards the family for airing the new series on February 2nd, which was Nicole Brown Simpson’s wedding anniversary.
The person who discovered the infamous glove was detective Mark Fuhrman, according to NBC Los Angeles. Mark Fuhrman found the glove after he scaled a wall outside of O.J.’s house. Eventually, the hard work and credibility of Fuhrman would be tarnished when tapes uncovered him making racist remarks about African-Americans. Mark Fuhrman was also accused of planting those gloves to frame Simpson.
After 8 months of trial, the jury found O.J. Simpson not guilty of the murders of Nicole Brown-Simpson and Ronald Goldman. There’s two reasons why O.J. got away. One reason is because the defense team used technical mistakes by the forensics team to suggest that the crime scene and DNA evidence was contaminated.“If the glove doesn’t fit you must acquit are the famous words of Defense Attorney Johnnie Cochran. The defense team convinced the prosecution team to ask Simpson to try on the glove during the trial. The prosecutor didn’t want Simpson to try on the glove since it was soaked in blood, frozen and unfrozen several times to be preserved. When Simpson tried on the gloves, it appeared that the glove was too small for his hands.
Another reason is because of the Black jurors. When a black person sees another black person in handcuffs for a crime, they automatically assume that it’s because of their skin color. In this case, that is not true. Even with the evidence that showed O.J. killed Nicole, the domestic violence and police history, the jury still had no sympathy. According to People Magazine, Marcia Clark believes that the reason why O.J. was acquitted is because of the racial divide that happened after the Rodney King verdict.
This trial not only caused mayhem and havoc, but it also caused the racial tension between the African-Americans and Caucasians to get worse. Many people including prosecutor Christopher Darden criticized Johnnie Cochran for bringing up the issue of race, which had nothing to do with the crime. Defense Attorney Johnnie Cochran told the jury, which mainly consisted of African-Americans that the officers of the LAPD were trying to frame Simpson because of his race. Also, if the trial ended on a different note, race riots would erupt all over Los Angeles and the rest of the country if Simpson if he was found guilty of the murders. This is similar to the Los Angeles riots of 1992 following the acquittal of four police officers for beating Rodney King in 1991.
O.J. Simpson is a sadistic, monstrous man who couldn’t accept the fact that his ex-wife was moving on. Throughout Nicole and O.J.’s relationship, it was filled with abuse that affected Nicole terribly. There are diary entries written by Nicole that dates back to 1977 talking about the domestic violence she endured. A week before her death, Nicole told friends Faye Resnick and Robin Grier that she feared O.J. would murder her one day. In 1993, Nicole made a 911 call fearing for her life, “When he gets this crazed, I get scared...He gets a very animalistic look in him...His eyes are black, just black, I mean cold, like an animal." Kris Jenner, one of Nicole’s best friends regrets she didn’t pay attention to the signs that her friend was getting abused. Jenner was unaware of the abuse until the trial, she says to People Magazine "That was stuff I didn't know anything about. I beat myself up because I felt like I wasn't paying attention. Like, how did I miss this? But that's typical in an abusive relationship – that the woman doesn't speak out about how she's being treated."
If you have a friend or family member that you think is getting abused, please speak up. Help them, call the authorities, do anything just to help them. If the friends and family of Nicole Brown-Simpson paid attention to her more instead of being blinded by her husband, she would still be alive. The domestic violence hotline is 1-800-799-7233. Rest in peace Nicole Brown-Simpson and Ronald Goldman.