01x05 - The Race Card - The People v. O.J. Simpson

Episode transcripts for the 2016 TV show "American Crime Story".
"American Crime Story"
  1. The People v. O.J. Simpson
  2. The Assassination of Gianni Versace
  3. Impeachment
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01x05 - The Race Card - The People v. O.J. Simpson

Post by bunniefuu »

But, Daddy, what if I sit up front on the way and she sits up front on the way back?


I don't want to have to figure this out every time I want to take my girls to dinner.

Can't we negotiate it, Daddy?

[Johnnie laughs]

[siren whooping]

Oh, man, here we go.

Johnnie: All right, girls.

What do we say to the police?

Girls: Nothing.

Johnnie: And who talks to the police?

Girls: Our lawyer.

Johnnie: That's right.

[indistinct radio chatter]

Officer, I'm just gonna get my registration.

Please keep your hands on the wheel, sir.

Where you headed tonight?

Just taking my daughters to dinner.

May I ask why you pulled me over?

You seemed to change lanes without signaling two blocks back.

Oh, I-I assure you, I always signal.

Especially with my girls in the car.

This is the third time this week someone's pulled me over for no reason.

This your vehicle?

If you let me go in the glove box, I'll show you my registration.

Is this your father's car?

Hey, hey.

Don't talk to my children.


Look, I know the drill.

I'm black.

I'm driving in a fancy white neighborhood, nice car, you pull me over.

So leave my children out of it, thank you!

Sir, out of the car now.

Oh, come on!

Got to be kidding me!

Sir, because of your hostile attitude, I'm gonna have to cuff you.

[Johnnie grunts]

Officer, please.

Take my license and call it in.

Find out who I am.

If you don't take this opportunity for yourself, I guarantee you will regret it!

Stay right there.

Do not move.

Girls... it's gonna be all right.

You hear me?

We're gonna be at Hamburger Hamlet in five minutes.



It's gonna be fine.

Turn around.

Have a nice night, Mr. Assistant District Attorney.

Johnnie: All right.

Like I promised you, let's go get some burgers.

I'm starving.

Daddy, what did he say to you?

Oh, just grown-up talk, honey, grown-up talk.

Daddy, did he call you a n*gg*r?

No, he didn't.

He didn't have to.

And don't you girls ever use that word.


It's a terrible word.

You hear me?

[engine starts]

Now let's go.

Preacher: As you know, the O.J. Simpson trial will start soon, and we want to pray with our member and friend, Johnnie Cochran, who is litigating the O.J. Simpson case.

Johnnie, come forward.

[applause, organ playing quietly]

Let us pray.

Lord, for this day, we are thankful.

Yes, Lord.

For Johnnie Cochran, we are appreciative.

We pray for Johnnie Cochran as he accepts this challenge to litigate the O.J. trial.

King Jesus listens when we pray.


Congregation: Amen. Amen. Amen.

♪ King Jesus is a-listenin' when you pray ♪
♪ King Jesus is a-listenin' ♪
♪ When you pray-ay... ♪

Great, now Jesus is on their side, too.

Reporter: After the service, Mr. Cochran addressed reporters.

Of course we all know Mr. Darden is a fine attorney.


But all of a sudden, he shows up now?

After we've got eight African-Americans on the jury?

Why is that?

It's obvious to me Mr. Darden is being used as a tool by the D.A.'s office because he's black.

Thank you. Honey...

[TV switches off]

I appreciate your concern, but I refuse to be in the same room with a particular individual, and I think you know why.

No, I don't.

I don't even know who you're talking about.

Is it... is it Johnnie?

No, it's Lee!

Why did you drive all the way over here if you weren't gonna go in?

You don't understand.

He-he is the godfather of one of my children.

Bob, what do I tell the team?


What-what you tell them is that I know that he is the source who leaked it to the New York Daily News that I was in over my head, that I was steamrolled.

It's inflammatory, it's a lie!

Where... Never mind, don't tell me.

Don't tell me. Just sit down and come on, let's go.

Okay. I got things to do.

He'll get here-- if he gets here-- when he gets here.

All right, gentlemen.

[clears throat]

Ah, there he is.


I suppose that makes you Jesus?

Why don't you blow it out your ass, Bob?

Now that we've resolved that, everybody got it out of their system, we got work to do.

Everybody take a folder, please.

Here we go. Thank you so much.

Pass it on, please.

We begin with domestic v*olence.

We have 62 instances of Simpson beating, degrading and stalking Nicole over the course of their 17-year relationship.

He was a serial abuser; that proves motive.

We know they're gonna hone in on O.J.'s past abuse.

He was a ticking time b*mb.

Ron and Nicole's m*rder were a natural escalation of a pattern.

We have a solid timeline to work with.

They are doing us a huge favor, establishing such a small window for O.J.'s alleged att*ck.

Everything starts with the plaintive wail of the Akita.

I'm guessing everyone's aware their b*mb witness is a dog?


There was blood in his car, in his driveway.

Her blood was on his socks in his bedroom.

Dershowitz: There's no way they call Fuhrman to the stand.

He's damaged goods. It's too big a risk.

And if they do call him, we've all seen his personnel file.

We'll rip him apart.


The amount of physical evidence is overwhelming.

There's mountains of it.

Frankly, it's more hard evidence than I've ever seen in a m*rder case.

The truth is, the LAPD rushed to judgment in targeting O.J.

The mere fact that we find blood where there should be no blood is devastating proof.

Bailey: Look, the haphazard manner in which the evidence was collected and handled gives us a significant advantage.

I've seen it before.

Officers start down a misguided path and refuse to turn back.

Then somebody realizes they need a better case.

We have motive, evidence and opportunity.

Evidence doesn't win the day.

Jurors go with the narrative that makes sense.

We're here to tell a story.

Our job is to tell that story better than the other side tells theirs.

Hodgman [quietly]: He would take it better if it came from you.

I think you have a warmer relationship with him, and he might be more understanding.

Then I'll do it.

Hello. Everyone, this is a list of who you'll be responsible for putting on the stand.

Hank, you've got the crime lab guys.

I couldn't think of anyone more suited to sort through all that blood evidence.

Bill, I know your hands are full with discovery.

You take the coroner.

I'll take the dog bark witnesses, the cops at the crime scene.

Woody and Rock, you obviously have DNA, and, Chris, you've got Vannatter and, uh... Fuhrman.


We all know what we need to do.

Let's go.





Let's get to work.

[elevator bell dings]

Mark Fuhrman.

Chris Darden. Have a seat.

Is Bill Hodgman's office still on this floor?

It's upstairs.

You know Bill?

Yeah. Yeah, he's a smart guy.

Well, he won't be joining us.

That's fine with me, sir.

How would you describe yourself on the stand?

Pretty comfortable-- I've done it before.

Are you gonna be putting me up?

If that's not a problem.

Well, I imagine that's not for me to decide, but I definitely don't have a problem with it.

You should know the defense plans to raise some incidents from your past.

Allegations of things you said.

They're gonna come at you.

Uh, what type of incidents?

Well, we've seen their list of witnesses.

They're gonna claim you're a r*cist.

Uh, that's not gonna be an issue with me.

Ask around; I work with black cops every day.

I think your S.I.D. investigated one of my black buddies.

[chuckles softly]


I met with Fuhrman.

Good. You can fill me in tomorrow.

Uh, he says all the appropriate things.


But, uh, truthfully, guy's not right.

I get a really bad vibe from him.

Chris, no one's asking you to date him, just prep him.

He's one of those people that thinks that you can't see how he really feels because he acts polite.

Well, that makes no sense, because when someone acts polite, then they are polite.


Am I out of line, saying you're bringing a preconception to this because you're black?

All right, Marcia, I don't expect you to understand.

But there's a way that certain white people talk to black people.

It's disingenuous.

Fuhrman doesn't have to be a witness.


He's not even the cop who entered the gloves into evidence; he doesn't have to take the stand.

Yes, he does.

You are playing into the defense.

I understand that this guy has had his troubles, but his psych records have been ruled inadmissible.

So we are not panicking, and we are not gonna let the police go on trial here.

This is not S.I.D.

The cops are our allies.

Chris... he's what we've got.

Fuhrman has something to contribute, and you need to get him ready.

So, you know... massage it.

Do whatever is necessary to make him come across as credible.

Do you see what you've done? It's after 8:00.

My babysitter's gonna k*ll me. I will see you tomorrow.


"Massage it."

Ito: Mr. Dunne, I've read some of your past coverage of m*rder trials in Vanity Fair magazine.

I'm lucky I write for a magazine that allows me to take a stand, Your Honor.

Well, there's no mistaking how you feel.

No. That's something I'm proud about.

I am, uh, assigning you a permanent seat in the front row.

You'll be next to the Goldmans.

And the seat is yours for the length of the trial.

Thank you, Your Honor.

Without, uh, being too forward, I sense that you'll be able to sympathize with them in a way that the rest of us cannot, that you'll know how to deal with them, not intrude or ask inappropriate questions.

Because of my daughter's m*rder?

Yes. Well, I apologize for dredging up what I imagine is a deeply painful memory, but I felt it was important that you know why.

I'm sure the Goldmans will appreciate the gesture, Your Honor.

I know I do.

The trial of Dominique's k*ller was t*rture enough.

But then the way he got off with a slap on the wrist...

Let's hope this one goes better.

[chuckles softly]


[clears throat]

Uh, hey, you're a Hollywood guy.

I know that you worked in showbiz.

You want to see who sent me a fan letter today?

Uh, who?

It's, uh...

That's Arsenio Hall. [chuckles]


[crowd clamoring]

Let the Juice loose!

O.J., O.J., you can't hide!

They'll charge you with homicide!

Let the Juice loose!

No justice! No peace! Let O.J. go!

He's a wife beater, he's a m*rder!

O.J. is innocent...

There's blood on his hands! He b*at her ass... the whole time!

...until proven guilty!

Now you're gonna get away with... Hold on one second.

Of course.

Chris: Hey, Johnnie, can I have a minute?

Big day today. You holding up?

I don't want you to take this the wrong way.

But, uh, that press conference you gave about me, that was a cheap sh*t.

It was unfair and beneath the both of us as professionals.

In this trial, we're equals.

Everything from our past is out the window.

So, um, it's my sincere hope that we can agree from this point forward to treat each other with respect.

Brother, I ain't trying to be respectful.

I'm trying to win.

Your Honor, we have submitted a motion to exclude all 62 allegations of domestic v*olence.

This is a m*rder case.

This is not a domestic v*olence case, nor is it an inquiry into the characteristics and personality of Mr. Simpson.

And all this evidence that was submitted is not relevant.


[clears throat]

Your Honor, counsel's reasoning is flawed and their logic is specious.

The defendant's character and prior history are the point.

Let's do a hypothetical.

Let's pretend that we're not even gonna tell the jury that Nicole and Mr. Simpson were married.

Our jurors would naturally ask, "Why would O.J. Simpson k*ll a perfect stranger?"

It wouldn't make sense.

It's only when you understand the context and their relationship and Mr. Simpson's jealousy that his motive for committing these brutal m*rder can be understood.

Knock 'em d*ad, Darden.

Your Honor, I'd like to address a separate issue.

All right.

[clears throat]

Your Honor, Detective Fuhrman's gonna play a very small role in this case, but we believe when he's called to the stand, we're gonna be forced to go back 15 odd years to ask him about completely irrelevant statements that people have claimed he's made.

These statements are racially insensitive and divisive.

The question is: why bring them up?

They're gonna ask him if he made a racial slur or repeated a racial epithet.

But why ask?

There's no legal purpose for it.

But Mr. Cochran and the defense have a purpose for entering this area, and that purpose is to inflame the passions of the jury and ask them to pick sides.

The-the "N" word is a dirty, filthy word, Your Honor.

It is so prejudicial and inflammatory that the use of it in any situation will evoke an emotional response from any African-American.

We're talking about a word that blinds people.

When you mention that word to this jury, it will blind them to the truth.

They won't be able to discern what's true and what's not.

It will impair their judgment.

It will affect their ability to be fair.

It'll force the black jurors to make a choice: whose side are you on, the Man or the brothers?

[quietly]: Is he serious?

Chris: So, the People strongly urge the court, respectfully, not to allow that vile word to be uttered at any time during this trial.

Your Honor, I did not plan to speak on this matter, but I would be remiss if I did not respond to my good friend, Mr. Chris Darden.

[clears throat]

Mr. Darden's remarks this afternoon are perhaps the most incredible remarks I've heard in a court of law in my 32 years of practice.

His remarks are deeply demeaning to African-Americans.

And so, first and foremost, Your Honor, I would like to apologize to African-Americans across this country.

It is preposterous to say that African-Americans collectively are so emotionally unstable that they cannot hear offensive words without losing their moral sense of right and wrong.

They live with offensive words, offensive looks, offensive treatment every day.

And so, Your Honor, I am ashamed that Mr. Darden would allow himself to become an apologist for Mark Fuhrman.

Who are any of us to testify as an expert as to what words black people can or cannot handle?!

Your Honor, across America, believe you me, African-Americans are offended at this very moment.

And so, for a friend that I deeply respect, I would say this was outlandish, unfortunate and unwarranted.

Thank you, Your Honor.

[quietly]: n*gga, please.

[phones ringing, quiet chatter]

Can I see?



"76% of African-Americans do not believe Darden was doing a good job, often, at times, referring to the A.D.A. as an Uncle Tom"?

Gil: Uh, yeah.

Okay. Yeah. That's fine.

Hey, Gil.

I'm in a hurry.

I'd like to do a few interviews.

With the black press.


I think it's important that people understand what my role is on this case and--

Is this about the poll?

Marcia said there was some poll.


No one's doing press, Chris.

If I had to respond every time some crab apple said something about me... You're just gonna do more harm drawing attention to yourself.

D.A.s don't go on talk shows.

It's a sensitive case.

No press.

Chris: Marcia?

We need to reconsider Fuhrman.


Look, he's wrong for this case.

You have had a rough couple of weeks.

We're not changing our trial strategy because of it.

Toughen up.

You're letting Johnnie get into your head.

Can I share something with you?

As long as I don't have to get out of this chair.

I'm wiped.

In the '70s, when I was in law school, affirmative action was a big deal.

I remember.

No, you don't.

You're white.

I busted my ass.

I had the grades to get into that school.

But every time I entered a classroom, I felt like people were staring at me.

Like I took some more worthy person's spot.

And that bullshit hurts.

And those feelings never leave.

And now, almost 20 years later, I'm expected to sit and swallow those same kinds of accusations all over again.

I mean, Johnnie's out there trashing me in front of every TV camera he can find.

But he's wrong.

Just like all those idiots who doubted you back then.

You are on this case because you are creative, dedicated and smart.


That's why I wanted you.


You're gonna help us win.

And Johnnie can go screw himself.
Johnnie: This case is about an obsession to win at any cost.

And we are confident that the evidence will reveal that the LAPD is a blunders in blue operation.



No, it sounds like you're trying to be funny.

Baby, I'm not trying to be funny.

But that's what it sounds like, honey.

You can do it. Go on now.

All right, all right.

Let me try. Hold on.

Uh... we will reveal...


...that the evidence collected by the LAPD was contaminated...


...compromised and corrupted.


What? That is it.

Oh, baby.

That's it. That is it.


Nice alliteration. Three Cs.


It has a flow, honey, it's perfect.

You got it.

I'm glad you're on this.

It's like it's my destiny, baby.


Well, destiny... has a powerful attraction.

What you doing?

I closed my book.

No, you didn't.

Yes, I did.

No, you didn't.

[laughs] What you doing?

I'm taking off my robe.

[laughs] You bringing it to me?

Let a brother...


I'm trying...


...to bring you... it.


Mmm. [laughs]

[phone ringing]

M... Ooh.


That bat phone didn't ring.

It did ring.

Go ahead, answer it.


Be quick.

Good evening. Johnnie Cochran.

We have a problem.

W... What time is it?

A-Are you still at work?

You're kidding.

All right, all right, go ahead. What you got?

Shapiro's staff messed up and didn't submit 12 of our witnesses into discovery.


You're gonna have to remove those names out of your opening statement tomorrow, Johnnie.

I'm-I'm sorry to do this to you.

I'm not removing those names, brother.


No, no, Johnnie, we-we can't do that.

Here's the thing, Carl.

There comes a time when you got to fall on your sword for your client.

Tomorrow is your day.

[phone beeps]

[dial tone humming]

[phone beeps]

Officer: Stay on the sidewalk!

[crowd clamoring]

Let's go!

Back up, gentlemen!

Back up! Go!

[sirens whooping]

Back 'em up!

Let's go!

I told you, back up!

I said back up. Do not cross this line.


[clamoring continues]

[cameras clicking]

Reporter: Over here, Johnnie!

Come on, Bob. Pretend we're at the Oscars.

[clamoring continues]

All rise!

Court is now in session.

Judge Lance Ito presiding.

Good morning.

All right, why don't we bring in the jury.

We've watched O.J. Simpson win the Heisman Trophy.

We've watched him in movies and commercials.

We think we know him.

But what we've been seeing is a public face, the face of the athlete, the actor.

But like many public men, he also has a private side.

The O.J. Simpson you've never met.

The face of a batterer.

The abuser.

The m*rder.

I would like to summarize the results of our evidence from these... heartless slayings.

The blood trail at the Rockingham property matches the defendant.

The blood found on the glove recovered at Rockingham matches the defendant.

The blood drops at the Bundy m*rder scene match the defendant.

And the blood found in the Bronco matches a mixture of the defendant, Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown.

The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said it best:

"Injustice anywhere is a thr*at to justice everywhere."

And so, here... we embark upon a search for justice.

A search for truth.

None of us were there on June 12, 1994.

We must rely upon the witnesses to get a full picture.

But let me talk about those witnesses the prosecution didn't mention.

Witnesses who will exonerate O.J. Simpson.

One might wonder why the prosecution didn't bring to your attention Mary Anne Gerchas.

Or Rosa Lopez.

Or Joe Stellini.

[Marcia speaking quietly]

Or Alan Austin. Or--

Your Honor...

I hesitate to interrupt another lawyer's opening statement, but it appears that, for some reason, these witnesses have not been turned over to the People!
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