January 28, 1995 in City

L.A. Police Launch Probe Of Airport Clash Internal Affairs Sergeant To Interview Photographer Shoved By Mark Furhman

By The Spokesman-Review
 
Tags:Assault

Los Angeles police will send an internal affairs sergeant to Spokane this weekend to investigate homicide Detective Mark Fuhrman’s run-in with a Spokesman-Review photographer.

Sgt. Mike Moore has scheduled Sunday morning interviews with photographer Dan McComb, 28, and reporter Bill Morlin, 47.

Morlin and a half-dozen other people witnessed the Wednesday evening incident at Spokane International Airport.

Fuhrman, the controversial detective who found a bloody glove at the estate of accused double-murderer O.J. Simpson, was flying back to Los Angeles after making an offer to buy a Sandpoint house.

Simpson’s defense lawyers have characterized Fuhrman as being racist, which he has denied.

Fuhrman plans to retire after Simpson’s trial.

After giving Morlin a 10-minute interview at the Spokane International Airport, Fuhrman exploded when he thought McComb was photographing his wife, Caroline.

He shoved a metal briefcase into McComb’s chest, then pushed him to the ground, popping four buttons off the photographer’s shirt.

Fuhrman’s attorney, Robert Tourtelot, acknowledged in an interview with The Spokesman-Review on Thursday that the detective “did hit” McComb with the briefcase.

He blamed the incident on an “overzealous photographer,” a phrase he repeated Friday on the NBC “Today” show.

Moore referred questions late Friday to Lt. John Dunkin, public affairs officer for the Los Angeles Police Department.

Dunkin confirmed Moore’s two-day visit but refused to elaborate, citing a California law that prohibits disclosing the contents of ongoing internal affairs investigations.

“We’ll conduct whatever interviews and gather whatever information we need to do our investigation,” Dunkin said.

Chris Peck, managing editor of The Spokesman-Review, sent L.A. Police Chief Willie Williams a letter Thursday asking for a full review.

“We want to make sure the department understands that no matter who it was, we would not want to have a police officer roughing up a photographer,” Peck said.

“It has nothing to do with us injecting ourselves into the O.J. case.”

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