Tag Archives: Haywood Galbreath

Simpson Trial Photographer Troubled by Miniseries

Interesting Facebook post by photojournalist Haywood Galbreath, who was the only photographer to be inside the courtroom every day of the Simpson trial.

Haywood Galbreath tagged you and Bobby Glanton Smith in a post.
Haywood wrote: “It’s almost time for FX American crime story “The people vs. O.J. Simpson” which comes on Tuesday nights on FX. I have been quite troubled with the representation of as I say the honorable Judge Lance Ito who was the presiding judge of the O.J. Simpson double murder trial. I say honorable judge Lance Ito because that is what he was and will always be to me. Judge Ito had an almost insurmountable task ahead of him in being the judge of the trial that became the largest criminal court case in the history of America. And arguably the largest media event of the 20th century. Mainstream media which is defined as white owned media organizations criticized the judge almost from the beginning to the end of the trial. Criticizing him and saying that he let the trial get out of hand. The only thing in the trial that was really out of hand was mainstream media and it continues to be in America! The idea that judge Ito was mesmerized by the attention of the media and celebrities is inaccurate and borders on blasphemy of the integrity of the judge and his name. Perhaps one of the biggest reasons mainstream media criticizes judge Ito is because of his fairness when it came to media coverage of the trial. And the judge made a decision, the unprecedented decision of giving the Black Press of America a photo position in the courtroom which had never taken place in the history of America. In such a large criminal court case or actually any type of case in America. I Point this out and Ms.Jerrianne Hayslett continues to point out the unfairness of mainstream media and the inaccuracy of the FX American crime story “The people vs. O.J. Simpson” portrayal/ betrayal of judge Lance Ito. And she also points out the lies of writer Jeffrey Toobin whose book the run for his life the miniseries is based on. I also want to point out something else, no journalist no matter how large of news gathering organization they worked for had more access to judge Ito than myself photojournalist Haywood Galbreath. I spend more time in the judge’s chambers asking to see him as well as him inviting me in to his chambers to speak with me than any other journalist covering the trial. For 21 years I’ve seen journalist and heard mainstream media condemn the honorable judge lance Ito, and at the same time talk about how they held audience with him and wear it as a badge of honor! I am almost certain that Ms. Hayslett can prove that those journalists are lying and it did not happen the way they said it did! And I challenge any of them to prove that I did not spend more time in the chambers of the honorable judge Lance Ito for honorable reasons than they did! -IHMPJ/HG- #americancrimestory #PeoplevsOJSimpson #highprofiletrial #anatomyofatrial #Photo #iconic #image #picoftheday #photography #photographer #photojournalism #photojournalist #HG #BlackPress #BlackPressUSA #NNPA #NPPA #FOX #FX #Americancrimestory #OJ #HaywoodGalbreath #Photobook #OJSimpson #blackhistorymonth #historymakers #thepeoplevsOJSimpson #haywoodOJbook #OJbook #”

What They and I Didn’t Know

In a recent Law Newz website post, O.J. Simpson Prosecutor Says Non-Black Writers for New Series Clearly Don’t Understand Race, former Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney makes a case for what I didn’t understand during that trial more that 20 years ago, but have a better understanding of now. Here’s an observation about the FX miniseries:

“I think you have a production done, I’ll say this, basically non-black writers, non-black producers then you want to take this iconic trial with these black lawyers and talk about race, I don’t see how you talk about race without including the people that are most affected by it.”

I wouldn’t have appreciated or even understood back in 1995 what Christopher Darden meant had I heard it back then.

I did hear someone back then say something similar to that and, while I went to bat for him, I didn’t really understand. Photojournalist Haywood Galbreath, who was the only photographer who was in the courtroom taking pictures every day of the trial. I describe my encounter with him in Anatomy of a Trial:

“He represented some two-hundred black-owned newspapers across the country, he said, who were fed up with the distortions of the white media. Exhibit A, a Time magazine cover with Simpson’s mug shot which had been altered, giving him a darker, more sinister look.”

With more life experience, I have a much better idea of what Galbreath was saying and totally agree with Darden’s observation about the making of FX’s “People vs. O.J. Simpson.”

Sorry, FX, Disbelief Is Not Suspended

As I watched the first episode of FX’s “The People vs. O.J. Simpson” tonight, which I had DVOed last night, I tried to think how to process what I had seen. I had the most trouble with Cuba Gooding Jr. as Simpson. He just wasn’t. Not in size, not in looks and definitely not in voice.

Before I logged onto this blog to write about it, however, I decided to read a review in “Connecting” newsletter by recently retired AP Special Correspondent Linda Deutsch, possibly the only person save the courtroom bailiff, the trial judge and his clerk, the parties to the case, and photographer Haywood Galbreath, who spent more time in the courtroom than I did.

I’m glad I read Linda’s review before I wrote anything. So far as I’m concerned, she nailed it.

Because of that, instead of writing anything else, at least about the first episode, I’m going to provide the link to her review.  http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Connecting—February-03–2016.html?soid=1116239949582&aid=tU78hcPb9YY

Thanks, Linda!

Remembering What Didn’t Happen?

In NPR’s Jeremy Hobson’s Here and Now interview with TV critic Eric Deggins on Feb. 2, 2016, about the FX drama “The People vs. O.J. Simpson” Jeremey said the show reminds us of so much we forgot about that happened in the 1994-95 Simpson trial.

So I told Jeremy (yes, I talk to the radio, also to the TV), “That’s because so much that’s being portrayed in the FX miniseries didn’t happen.”

An example is the prominent role Kris Jenner, ex-wife of defense counsel Robert Kardashian, has been given. Her pre-“The People vs. O.J. Simpson” comments have her in the courtroom, hanging onto every word throughout the trial.

No. She showed up on one day only. That was Sept. 27, 1995, more than nine months after the trial started and less than a week before it ended with not-guilty verdicts. She sat with her then-husband Bruce Jenner and friends Steve Garvey and Garvey’s wife.

 Photo courtesy of MPJI/HGSTAR1 NEWSPHOTO taken on Sept. 27, 1995, by Photojournalist Haywood Galbreath 

My huge problem with this series and with so much that has been written and portrayed about that case and the trial is the perpetuation of misperceptions, myths and fantasies that just didn’t happen.

Kris Jenner’s 9-27 OJS Trial Photo Finish

Photojournalist Haywood Galbreath, the only photographer  who shot pictures in Judge Lance Ito’s courtroom every day of the O.J. Simpson trial, saw a previous blog post in which I wrote that the only day I knew of that Kris Jenner attended the OJ Simpson trial in person was Sept. 27, 1995, less than a week before the trial ended in not guilty verdicts. Here’s the photo Galbreath took that day, Sept. 27, 1995, of Kris Jenner, her then-husband Bruce Jenner on her right, and to her left Steve Garvey’s wife and Steve Garvey.

Kris & Bruce Jenner at OJS trial 9.27.1995MPJI/HGSTAR1 NEWSPHOTO

Galbreath says he took took pictures of people (who thought they were somebody) who showed up in the courtroom.

Remote Trial Coverage

I read this article, “New Doc Features Black Journalists Who Covered OJ Simpson Trial,” expecting to see names of journalists I knew who covered the O.J. Simpson trial. I knew who attended it because I kept a daily list. Among the regulars were Andrea Ford, Dennis Schatzman, Janet Gilmore, Myra Ming, Bill Whitaker, and above all, photojournalist Haywood Galbreath, who was in court every day that trial was in session. Others attended from time to time as well.
While Star Jones, who is quoted in this story, did show up occasionally, although I remember her more from the Rodney King beating trial days, most of the people quoted in this story I never met or saw in the courtroom or in the Los Angeles Criminal Courts Building 9th floor media center. I wondered after reading the story, why the writer, Matthew Carey, didn’t interview those who were there.
It’s a given he couldn’t have interviewed Andrea Ford or Dennis Schatzman, as both died years ago. (Schatzman, who reported for the African-American newspaper The Los Angeles Sentinel and made race the theme in his trial coverage, wrote an excellent book, The Simpson Trial in Black and White, with a white colleague, Tom Elias.) But Janet Gilmore, who reported for the Los Angeles Daily News is now and has been at UC Berkeley for more than a decade; Myra Ming, who was KTTV’s reporter/producer on the scene and went on to become a Nieman fellow, and Bill Whitaker with CBS News where he is now a 60 Minutes correspondent, shouldn’t have been hard to find.
And Haywood Galbreath, whose attendance at the Simpson trial rivals only AP reporter Linda Deutsch, to my knowledge, not only continues his photojournalism career via his H. G. Star-1 News Photos agency and published The O. J. Simpson Murder Trial: the complete photo journal of the trial of the century, he readily talks about being a black journalist covering the trial and probably has the most stark and telling stories about that experience.
At best, one or two of those Carey quoted in this article might have shown up in the courtroom once or twice during the nine months of the trial from opening statements to closing arguments and the four months of pre-trial proceedings, although I don’t recall seeing them. Otherwise, they must have covered the trial from their newsrooms, offices and other non-courtroom locations, via TV, like millions of other viewers.
In Carey’s article, former USA Today DeWayne Wickham recalled his frustration that his reporting didn’t get picked up by his own paper, which he implies in this story was racially based.
“I was a black journalist who reported a story that raised serious questions about the prosecution’s conduct of that trial, and most white folks ignored my reporting.”
Whether or not that was the case, I can’t say. What I do know, though, is that the two USA Today reporters who were consistently in the courtroom were women, so Wickham must have been covering it remotely. Plus, considering the number of African-American journalists who were assigned to onsite, i.e. courtroom, coverage, Wickham’s situation seems to have been more of an anomaly than the rule.
As I read the caption of a photograph used to illustrated Cary’s story, a bias of my own bubbled up. The picture shows Simpson getting out of a car.
Defendant O.J. Simpson arrives under the gaze of t
The caption reads: “Defendant O.J. Simpson arrives under the gaze of the media at the Santa Monica Courthouse where the first day of opening arguments. AFP/Getty Images”
This photo and caption taps into my bias in three ways of how the news media distorts and misinforms the public.
(1) The picture is of Simpson wearing civilian clothes,
(2) The caption says Simpson is arriving at the Santa Monica Courthouse,
(3) The caption says (ungrammatically) “where the first day of opening arguments.”
(1) During Simpson’s 1995 murder trial, he was in custody, locked up in the Los Angeles County Jail, where he wore orange jumpsuits from the day he was arrested on June 17, 1994, until his acquittal on Oct. 3, 1995. His lawyers brought civilian clothes to the courthouse for Simpson to change into in a locked cell there for his courtroom appearances. Never during that trial was he wearing civilian clothes while riding around in a car.
(2) The murder trial, which Carey’s story seems to be about, was held in a downtown Los Angeles courthouse, not in Santa Monica. What was held in Santa Monica was Simpson’s 1996-97 civil trial which resulted in a $33 million judgment against him. So, unsuspecting and otherwise uninformed readers of this story won’t understand the difference.
(3) Opening arguments? What the heck are opening arguments? That is a creation of the news media, something I didn’t realize until I worked for the court. Trial attorneys make opening statements. They state to a jury the facts of the case as they plan to present it and the evidence. Arguments come at the end of the trial, after the attorneys have presented their case, and argue why the jury should decide in their and their clients’ favor.
I’m disappointed that Carey, who is billed at the end of his story as editor-in-chief of nonfictionfilm.com. During the Simpson trial he worked for CNN’s LA bureau, writing on media coverage of the case didn’t know correct lingo and wasn’t aware of the damage conflating two very different trials held at different times does on his readers’/viewers’ understanding of the legal system and of those who cover it.

Galbreath Shot Like A Pro

Because he was–and still is.

I’ve written about Mr. Haywood Galbreath before, both in my book Anatomy of a Trial and on this blog. In this post, Haywood Galbreath does the writing. Below is a Facebook status update he posted yesterday. I’ll thank Haywood right here for paying me perhaps the highest compliment any member of the news media has ever given me. 

***

Today is a very historic day for the Black Press of America reference photojournalism. 21 years ago today the honorable judge Lance Ito who was presiding over the O.J. Simpson double murder trial. I made a very controversial and courageous decision. When he agreed to give the Black Press of America a photo position inside the O.J. Simpson double murder trial. Never before in the history of America had a judge been courageous enough or believed in equality enough to make that type of decision.

On July 22, 1994 when I stepped into that courtroom on behalf of the Black Press of America history was made. I however had no idea what lay ahead for me and the Black Press of Americas for the next 15 months. And I like many who had come before me in the fight for equality for black Americans. I now understand what it’s like to be put through hell in life on earth! For standing up for what you have a right to be a part of.

Mainstream medias biggest argument (mainstream media meaning white owned news organizations) their biggest argument was that the Black Press of America did not have the skill to be able to shoot such a major and import and news event. That black photojournalist could work for them but could not because of lack of skill set beside them as an equal!

On July 22nd 1994 that myth that they created that still exist today. That myth should have been put to rest. When I standing beside their best photojournalist captured an image that they messed and thay had to call my organization representing the Black Press of America for the image!

Even though I advocated for the Black Press of America to have equal access. If not for the help of Ms.Jerrianne Hayslett and the honorable Judge Lance Ito this historic event of equal access for the Black Press of America in what became the largest media event of the 20th century never would’ve happened!

For myself and for the Black Press of America. I am eternally grateful Ms.Hayslett and Judge Ito recognized how significant it was for all parties involved to be represented equally in the area of media. Especially in the area of photojournalism because of the power of the images!

The photo below is the photo that mainstream media had to get from the Black Press of America. The same Black Press of America that they argued adamantly should not have a photo position in the courtroom because we didn’t have the skill like they did to capture the moment!
Sincerely,
-History making photojournalist Haywood Galbreath/On behalf of the Black Press of America-

Our Mutual Appreciation Society

Below is a comment photojournalist Haywood Galbreath posted on my “Anatomy of a Trial” by Jerrianne Hayslett Facebook page in response to the link I posted to yesterday’s “Anatomy of a Trial blog post.

Haywood first crossed my path during the Reginald Denny-beating trial (referred to by some in the media and the court as son of Rodney King-beating trial) two years after I became the Los Angeles Superior Court’s first ever director of public information. Haywood was nothing like I had ever encountered.

I mention that encounter in Anatomy of a Trial: Public Loss, Lessons Learned from The People vs. O.J. Simpson, and describe how he became the only photographer to have daily courtroom access to photograph the O.J. Simpson  trial, how he got to be the only pool photographer on the Simpson jury crime-scene visit, as well as some of the challenges and confrontations we weathered.

“I would like to thank Ms. Jerrianne Hayslett, for acknowledging me in her “Anatomy of a Trial blog”. She may not have completely understood my passion and what was behind my passion. She was however understanding and became an ally. When all is said and done no matter what the situation.

“If the people in your life do not completely understand but are understanding. Then you have been blessed more than you understand or know until time does what time does. That is brings about wisdom and understanding in you! I will be eternally grateful to her and what she did for the Black Press of America and me.”

Haywood taught me a lot, some of which took a while to understand and appreciate. I thank him for that and for his generous comment above. Haywood remains a friend and continues his successful career in photojournalism and other media.

Jury Visits Crime Scene, Defendant’s Home Haiku

Jury took a trip

By motorcading through town.

A crime scene visit.

2/12/95

This event was one of, if not the, most elaborately planned and surreal situations of the Simpson trial.

Here’s the description in Anatomy of a Trial of the lead up to and day of the jury’s crime-scene visit:

“The trip included quick stops at the apartment complex where Ronald Goldman had lived and Mezzaluna Restaurant, when he worked, then tours of the Bundy Drive condominium crime scene and Simpson’s Rockingham Avenue home two miles away.

“Ito oversaw the meticulous details of the trip, from police escorts and traffic blockades along the route to restriction of airspace to pool reporters’ cell phone use to unfurling curtain barricades and providing umbrellas and wide-brimmed hats at each stop to shield jurors from cameras.

“The entourage, which included police motorcycles, a bus with darkened windows for the jurors, and vans for court staff, the prosecution and defense teams, and the media, created almost as much of a spectacle as had Simpson’s slow-speed Bronco chase along the Los Angeles freeway system before his surrender and arrest nearly eight months earlier. Police blocked the Harbor  and Santa Monica freeway ramps between downtown at the courthouse, where the session convened , and Brentwood fifteen miles to the west.

“The media rented rooms with street-facing windows and stationed equipment vehicles along the route. Screaming, sign-waving mobs lined the curbs, stood on rooftops, hung out of windows, crowded overpasses, and posed for photographs as the caravan passed in the background. Kids on roller blades and skateboards raced alongside on streets and behind the bizarre parade.”

And it was all professionally and well documented photographically by pool photojournalist Haywood Galbreath.

 

 

A Welcome New O.J. Simpson Account — With Pictures

A photojournalist I met well before the infamous 1994-95 O.J. Simpson criminal trial invited me to Like the new Facebook page for his project, OJ “Trial Of The Century” Through The Lens Of A Black Press Photojournalist,

At this point this project is a work in progress, but the creator, photojournalist Haywood Galbreath has impressive plans.

In addition to an ebook in different format, “I also am working on a documentary and stationary photo exhibit as well as a traveling photo exhibit to tour different cities and talk about my experience in the trial next year,” Haywood said when I asked about the status of his project.

Here are a couple of his Status Updates from that page:

Photo: I want to establish in the beginning that my journey to being the only photojournalist in the world to have daily access to the O.J. Simpson double murder trial the “trial of the century” and the largest murder trial in the history of America. Was and still is a spiritual journey.  As they say in a faraway place and a faraway time I chose to follow Christ.  </p><br /> <p>I also chose to believe in the power of the one I call the Great Spirit God.  I could not have accomplished what I accomplished in covering that case without God making a way for me or faith, hope and love of which it speaks about in first Corinthians chapter 13 in the bible.</p><br /> <p>As we take this journey, me telling my story about what it took to do it and what I saw take place in and documented taking place in the courtroom in regards to the O.J. Simpson double murder trial.  I want to reiterate once again to everyone that for me it was and still is a spiritual journey. I truly believe that God ordained me from birth to make the journey for his Glory and to help his people.  </p><br /> <p>When I explain to you things that took place in my life and in reference to my coverage and documentation of the trial. I believe you will come to understand and believe also.  What I hope the most is that you the reader will realize that what God did for me God will do for you also!

I want to establish in the beginning that my journey to being the only photojournalist in the world to have daily access to the O.J. Simpson double murder trial the “trial of the century” and the largest murder trial in the history of America. Was and still is a spiritual journey. As they say in a faraway place and a faraway time I chose to follow Christ. 

I also chose to believe in the power of the one I call the Great Spirit God. I could not have accomplished what I accomplished in covering that case without God making a way for me or faith, hope and love of which it speaks about in first Corinthians chapter 13 in the bible.
As we take this journey, me telling my story about what it took to do it and what I saw take place in and documented taking place in the courtroom in regards to the O.J. Simpson double murder trial. I want to reiterate once again to everyone that for me it was and still is a spiritual journey. I truly believe that God ordained me from birth to make the journey for his Glory and to help his people.When I explain to you things that took place in my life and in reference to my coverage and documentation of the trial. I believe you will come to understand and believe also. What I hope the most is that you the reader will realize that what God did for me God will do for you also!
 
Twenty years ago this past August judge Lance Ito made a decision that was actually a major precedent. A major tilting of the moral arc toward that which is just. The decision was to permit the Black Press of America to have a photo position setting beside mainstream media daily in the O.J. Simpson double murder trial a major criminal court case.I am quite sure the judge did not make the decision lightly and he paid for it in many ways through his treatment by mainstream media. That decision the judge made that day. Only the most involved in media and the gathering of news images understand the precedent that was made with that decision.You will come to understand more about what I’m talking about in the book.

                                                          * * *

So far as I’m concerned, Haywood Galbreath personifies persistence and determination. He first crossed my radar in during the 1993 Reginald Denny-beating trial.  I mention Haywood several times in Anatomy of A Trial, including his request to staff a separate camera pool to represent African-American-owned and operated news organizations.

“But the Denny judge, while sympathetic, denied Galbreath’s request because he had submitted it after the trial had begun and logistics were already in place,” I wrote. “Galbreath didn’t make that mistake twice. …”

Although Haywood could be disruptive and was sometimes a pain, I came to respect not only his persistence, but his exemplary skills with a camera.

Although he has always maintained that the black perspective on the American condition and issues is different and stressed the importance of photographing events and situations from a black perspective, his recent comment says it best:

“I was of the strong opinion then and I am of the strong opinion now that anything that takes place in America, black Americans in all walks of life as well as Black Media if they choose to should have the right to have the same equal access as mainstream media.”

I eagerly await Haywood’s documentation of the Simpson trial as he photographed it.