Investigators told a police oversight board Tuesday that former Detective Mark Fuhrman exaggerated his infamous claims of abusing suspects, apparently trying to impress a screenwriter, sources said.
During the criminal case against O.J. Simpson, his defense team played audio tapes in which Fuhrman boasted of police misconduct.
The tapes included bragging that Fuhrman and other officers beat and “basically tortured” gang members in a housing project in 1978.
“There were certainly exaggerations,” a source familiar with the investigation said after a closed-door meeting with the Los Angeles Police Commission to outline the status of an internal probe.
Another source said it appeared Fuhrman was trying to impress screenwriter Laura Hart McKinney. Both sources spoke on condition of anonymity.
Findings of the investigation were referred to police officials who will decide any action against Fuhrman. Police Chief Willie Williams said he would make his recommendation in September.
Any proposed punishment would be largely symbolic since Fuhrman has already retired on a police pension that is secure.
“They cannot touch that pension,” said one source close to the investigation.
The oversight committee was told that investigators found no corroboration for Fuhrman’s most incendiary claims, which he made during interviews with McKinney.
The tape-recorded interviews with McKinney rocked the Simpson trial and helped bolster defense claims that Simpson was framed by Fuhrman out of racial hatred or to make Fuhrman a hero.
Police Commission members and police officials refused to comment since the meeting was conducted in closed session.
Fuhrman’s attorney Darryl E. Mounger declined to comment, saying he has not been told details of the police investigation.
Simpson was acquitted in October of killing Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, but now faces a civil trial brought by the relatives of the victims.