Mark Fuhrman, condemned as a racist cop during the O.J. Simpson trial, thanked the people of Sandpoint for their support with a letter published Wednesday on the front page of the Bonner County Daily Bee.
The newspaper said Fuhrman dropped off the letter to the editor at the Bee’s front office on Tuesday.
The letter read:
“My attorney has advised me not to make any specific reference to the issues surrounding the O.J. Simpson case, but I think that the citizens of this community deserve at least a comment from me after the focus this city has received.
“First and foremost, I wish to express my deep appreciation to the many people in town that have supported my family and I. Their kind words have meant a great deal during these very stressful times. The friends we have made in Sandpoint are some of the most genuine and sincere people my wife and I have ever met.
“The decision for us to move to Sandpoint came long before the O.J. case. The reasons we chose this community are not surprising: the beautiful, natural surroundings coupled with an upbeat community that is cultural, artistic and committed to keeping it that way.
“There are some people that are very outspoken about my presence in Sandpoint, and to this I cannot say they are wrong as they have a right to their opinion. I can assure them that I am no threat to this community. My future goals are only to raise my family with as little fanfare as possible.
“It is important to me that everyone in this community understand that my wife and children have no part in what the world calls ‘news.’ They are innocents caught up in the O.J. whirlpool because of me.
“In closing, I want to apologize for causing an undeserved shadow to be cast on this city by the media. To all the citizens that had to endure the media show on Euclid Avenue, I am truly sorry.
“I really like Sandpoint.”
Fuhrman, 43, moved to Sandpoint in July. He is retired from the Los Angeles Police Department.
During the trial, Simpson’s lawyers called Fuhrman a racist cop and backed up their contention with audiotapes on which Fuhrman repeatedly uses racial slurs.
“It’s true the town has suffered a lot as a result of him moving here. It was nice of him to go public and say something to the people of Sandpoint,” said Brenda Hammond, President of the Bonner County Human Rights Task Force. “And the point about his wife and children being caught up in all this is very well taken.”
Sandpoint residents are very tolerant, Hammond added, saying she would be surprised if Fuhrman’s presence wasn’t accepted.
“I think people will give him a chance to prove himself here,” she said. “It was a very nice letter and in good taste that it appeared here first. I would have been much less impressed if it had come over the national airwaves.”
Mayor Ron Chaney, who befriended Fuhrman and has defended the former detective since he moved here, declined to comment on the letter.