A confrontation between Los Angeles Police Department detective Mark Fuhrman and a SpokesmanReview photographer last winter at Spokane International Airport was a “set-up,” according to LAPD chief Willie Williams.
At a press conference held to address allegations of racism and sexism directed against Fuhrman in the O.J. Simpson murder trial, Williams said the LAPD has concluded an investigation of the incident in the Spokane airport.
“I’m not sure if the results have been made public, but it was my understanding that the results of that investigation have indicated that basically it was a set-up by that press group of Mr. Fuhrman,” said Williams in response to a question at the press conference.
Williams was not available for additional comment late Wednesday.
Spokesman-Review managing editor Scott Sines said Williams’ charges that the newspaper set up Fuhrman are not true.
“We heard Fuhrman was in town, so we tried to interview him and get a picture to go with the interview,” said Sines. “It’s no different than what we do every day. Any attempt by the LAPD to paint this as a setup is absurd.”
On Jan. 25, Fuhrman was returning to California from a househunting trip in Sandpoint when Spokesman-Review reporter Bill Morlin asked to interview him at Spokane International.
After the 10-minute interview was finished, McComb began taking pictures of Fuhrman as he walked through the airport terminal.
Fuhrman became angry, pushing McComb with a metal briefcase and ripping his shirt. Fuhrman said he was angered because McComb was blocking his path through the terminal.
Investigators from the LAPD’s internal affairs department interviewed Morlin, McComb and witnesses to the incident.