What if I told you that the most important and far-reaching story from the O.J. Simpson saga has never been told?
It is the story of the only item of evidence which Judge Lance Ito deemed “information that is of vital public interest”: the Fuhrman Tapes.
The Fuhrman Tapes were a series of interviews that screenwriter Laura Hart McKinny conducted with LAPD Detective Mark Fuhrman over a 10 year period. McKinny was developing a fictional screenplay about women in the police department and to what extent they were successful working in areas of high crime. It was critically important for McKinny that the screenplay be as accurate and realistic as possible, to achieve this she conducted extensive interviews with multiple LAPD officers, ride-alongs and extensive research at the Los Angeles Police Academy.
Since 1995 the news media has reduced the Fuhrman Tapes to slogans: “The N-Word” and “The Race Card.” However the harsh, underreported reality is that the Fuhrman Tapes are about issues that continue to plague America today: Police Brutality, Racial Animosity, False Arrests, Coerced Interrogations, Police Misconduct, Racial and Economic Profiling, Planting Evidence and, the Use of the Chokehold by Law Enforcement.
Most people are unaware of this reality because unless you were in Judge Ito’s courtroom on August 29, 1995 or watching the live television broadcast of the hearing, you have never heard the Fuhrman Tapes. The complete presentation of the Fuhrman Tapes has never been rebroadcast on television or radio, no major U.S. newspaper or national magazine has ever published a complete, accurate, unedited transcript of the excerpts and, to date, audio of all of the excerpts is not available to the public on the Internet.
To understand why the Fuhrman Tapes mattered then and matter even more today, we turn to an article written by Samuel F. Yette in the September 1, 1995 edition of the Philadelphia Tribune:
In 1995 we failed.
With a nation collectively following the O.J. Simpson trial, the Fuhrman Tapes provided the news media with an incredible opportunity to seriously explore and inform the tens of millions of Americans about the un-American manner which some Americans are treated by the justice system because of their race and/or socioeconomic status.
Countless studies have shown that the fact that police commit injustices is so foreign to the experience and consciousness of most White Americans that the majority of us simply don’t accept it. This disparity of consciousness and experience enables a majority of White Americans to turn a blind eye to issues of police misconduct; even those cases where the injustice is apparent or has been proven. This continuing disparity serves to impede reform and, indirectly, facilitates the continuation of such injustices.
An exploration of the Fuhrman Tapes could have served to reduce this disparity because the voice discussing police injustice is not that of a victim, rather it is the voice of a White police officer proudly describing violating the basic human rights of citizens because of his or her race, gender, sexual identity, religion and/or socio-economic status.
In 1995 the news media passed on this opportunity and chose to focus their coverage of the Fuhrman Tapes on Detective Fuhrman’s use of the so-called “N word” and endless chatter from pundits accusing Mr. Simpson’s attorneys of “playing the race card.”
For over 20 years the Fuhrman Tapes have been inaccessible to the public, the content never explored in a meaningful manner. In that same period the names Philando Castile, Amadou Diallo, Eric Garner, Oscar Grant, Freddie Gray, Kathryn Johnston, Abner Louima, Tamir Rice and Walter Scott have become familiar to most Americans, thanks, in part, to the news media and activists shining a light on the manner in which each had his or her basic human rights violated at the hands of law enforcement.
Despite the media highlighting the stories of countless victims of these injustices, the disparity of consciousness and experience continues to exist.
O.J.: Veritas. The Fuhrman Tapes is a feature length documentary film which finally examines the most important and far-reaching story from the O.J. Simpson saga.
The documentary presents to the public the complete, unedited audio of the Fuhrman Tapes excerpts which have been hidden from history for over two decades.
Using only archival footage O.J.: Veritas The Fuhrman Tapes [Runtime: 115 minutes] challenges the viewer to better understand the un-American manner which some Americans are treated by the justice system through a straightforward, commentary-free presentation of the facts about the Tapes and shares the views of all sides (O.J. Simpson, Mark Fuhrman, the prosecutors, defense attorneys) to allow the viewer to fully understand the subject.
We hope you enjoy the official trailer of O.J.: Veritas. The Fuhrman Tapes:
If you are a member of the news media or documentary acquisition & distribution professional who would like to screen the complete 115 minute film, please email Brian Heiss at [email protected] for a private link to the screener of O.J.: Veritas. The Fuhrman Tapes.