Tag Archives: L.A.P.D.

Forrest Gumpish Me

I felt so Gumpish yesterday.

The Milwaukee Green Sheet “Blasts from the Past” had an item from 1979 about Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini receiving “a tumultuous welcome in Tehran as he ended nearly 15 years of exile.” My children and I had just been evacuated from Tehran the month before with what we could carry in a few suitcases as the Islamic Revolution became chaotic in Iran, and my husband was still there with no indication that he was going to get out.

An interview on NPR with TV critic Eric Deggens about “The People vs. O.J. Simpson” miniseries scheduled to debut on FX last night included mention of the Rodney King-beating trial verdicts and resulting L.A. riots threw me back to all of those events.

When Rodney King was stopped by law enforcement for a malfunctioning taillight and beaten, I was city editor at the Pasadena Star News with a coverage area that included King’s hometown of Altadena. I had moved to my position as Los Angeles courts public information officer just three months before four L.A.P.D. officers stood trial for beating King. That trial was a real baptism by fire! But not nearly as hot as the subsequent riots during which I was one of the few people to keep showing up for work every day at the downtown County Courthouse.

And, of course, the accusation and subsequent trial of O.J. Simpson for murdering his ex-wife practically consumed my life for more than a year and a half in 1994 and 1995, which is now the foundation of the TV drama “The People vs. O.J. Simpson.

I have to say the Simpson case practically consumed my life, because sandwiched between court sessions, dealing with related media issues and meeting with the trial judge, Lance Ito, were the Hollywood Madam Heidi Fleiss case and preparations for the Menendez brothers retrial.

Feeling Gumpish comes over me at other times of the year, too, such as during the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, in which I drove a float one year and… and…

Oh, well, that’s enough for now. Sorry to get carried away.



Chris Dorner the New O.J.?

The comparison hadn’t occurred to me. although I guess it should have.


Police pursuit.

Allegations of racism.

Extraordinary media coverage.

A white perception of a murderer on the run.

A black perception of a hero wronged and the need to balance the scales.

What put these similar aspects of former football star O.J. Simpson’s 1994 Bronco chase and  subsequent trial and last week’s manhunt for former U.S. Naval officer and L.A.P.D. cop Christopher Dorner on my radar was the reflections and insights of  Politics365 blogger Jeneba Ghatt’s piece, “Christopher Dorner is the new O.J. Simpson” in VOXXI’s “Opinion Corner”. http://www.voxxi.com/why-christopher-dorner-new-oj-simpson/

As I read Ghatt’s conflicted thoughts, I rehashed my own. My vacillation from one day to the next during Simpson’s trial as I describe in “Anatomy of a Trial” to my reaction at the verdict to an evolving understanding in subsequent years of many African-Americans’ satisfaction and even jubilation over the outcome.

I attribute some, if not all, of that evolution to changes in my psyche that includes an awareness and understanding of white privilege, an ongoing education on what it means to be black in America and how unlevel the playing field continues to be for citizens in this country who are not Caucasian/European-American.

Ghatt’s piece is thought provoking. I recommend it.