Simpson's lawyers want stupidity from police

July 08, 1994|By MIKE ROYKO

The ideal policeman should be stupid and lacking imagination.

That's the impression I get from the questions being asked by O.J. Simpson's high-priced defense lawyers as they try to get bloody evidence tossed out before the trial begins.

Had the police been sufficiently stupid and lacking imagination, this is what they would or would not have done on the night the two bodies were found.

They would not have gone to O.J. Simpson's home in the first place. The defense lawyers make going to Simpson's home sound like an act of sneakiness.

Of course, someone who isn't stupid might have said: "This dead woman is O.J. Simpson's ex-wife. Let's go to his house and let Simpson know about the murder, determine if Simpson himself is OK, or see if we can get some information."

Which is what they did. But when they got there and stood outside the wall surrounding the estate, nobody answered the ++ repeated rings of the intercom or the telephone.

Had they been sufficiently dumb, they would have said: "Well, that's that. Nobody answers our ring, so that means nobody's home and everything's OK here, so let's call it a night, get some sleep and come back when the sun comes up. No urgency. All we have is an unsolved, bloody double murder."

Instead, one of the cops looked around the corner and found a white Bronco parked near another entrance to the Simpson estate. He looked the car over and found what he thought were XTC bloodstains. He peered inside and saw an envelope addressed to O.J. Simpson and a shovel.

From what Simpson's lawyers have been asking, the police reaction should have been something like this:

"Found a Bronco that appears to be Simpson's. Might be some bloodstains on it."

"So what?"

"I dunno. Those dead bodies -- they had been bleeding, right?"

"I guess. What does that have to do with anything?"

"I dunno. Blood on Simpson's ex-wife's body. Blood on the guy's body. Blood on Simpson's car. Think there could be a connection?"

"Don't think so. Some guy at a carwash could have cut himself shaving and dripped on the car."

"Yeah, you're right. Let's go get coffee."

But the detectives had lively imaginations. As one of them testified, he didn't know what he was dealing with: possibly a murder-suicide? Could Simpson himself be in there bleeding to death?

Is that so bizarre a possibility? Not really, since Simpson later rode around Los Angeles with a gun pointed at his head, apparently threatening to kill himself.

Or, the detectives thought, since two people had already been murdered, was it unthinkable that blood on the car meant a killer might be in the mansion doing others in?

So one of the detectives climbed over the wall, opened the gate for the others, and they walked to the mansion to see what they could see.

Had it been my house, they would not have had to climb over a wall or open a gate since I don't have a wall or gate. They could have gone right up my driveway or across the grass and rapped on the front door. People do it all the time, and I have never thought that my constitutional rights were being violated.

But Simpson's lawyers don't see it that way. They believe that before the cops put one toe on Simpson's property, they should have first found a judge and persuaded him to give them a search warrant.

That, of course, would have taken time. And had they waited for a warrant and then gone in and found somebody dead or bleeding to death, what would the public reaction have been?

Everybody would be yelling: "Dummies, why did you waste all that time getting a warrant? You could have saved those lives. Turn in your badges and hire yourselves a lawyer 'cause we'll sue."

By flipping the wall, they wound up finding what they say are drops of blood and a bloody glove that is similar to one at the murder scene.

Does that mean that Simpson is guilty? Of course not. It doesn't mean anything until it is presented to a jury as evidence.

Since Simpson and his lawyers say he is not guilty, I will take their word for it. And if they are truthful about his innocence, that means that the drops of blood and the bloody glove will turn out to be meaningless. So why the big deal about having them tossed out as evidence?

And even if the glove and drops of blood turn out to be significant, that doesn't mean that Simpson's situation is hopeless. There is always a chance that a jury will be as dense and witless as Simpson's lawyers want the cops to be.

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