Mark Fuhrman on "happy ending" of live broadcast of fatal police shooting: "I personally love it. You want reality TV? You've got it"May 13, 2005 1:01 PM EDT ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF
Former Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) detective Mark Fuhrman said that he "personally love[d]" watching the live broadcast, shown on Los Angeles-area TV stations, of a May 11 incident in which Los Angeles police officers fatally shot an armed suspected car thief. He also claimed that the video was "reality TV" with a "happy ending." Fuhrman was discredited for his role in the O.J. Simpson murder trial; after retiring from the LAPD, Fuhrman pleaded no contest to a perjury charge in which he was accused of lying under oath about using a racial slur against African-Americans.
From the May 12 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:
FUHRMAN: I personally love it. You want reality TV? You've got it. You know, people send their kids to matinees to watch more blood and gore than 1,000 of these police shootings will ever show from a helicopter. I think it's good for the American public to realize that when you're that stupid and you know you're going to get caught, and you wheel around with a gun in your hand and one in your waistband, the police are going to kill you and cancel your ticket right there. I love it.
ALAN COLMES (co-host): Let me ask you, Mark: Should we have shown that last part where the guy gets killed? I know they went to a wide shot, apparently. Is that good or bad that this is shown on television?
FUHRMAN: Well, I think it's great. I think kids need to realize just exactly what happens when you jump in a car with some moron that wants to steal a car, not knowing how he got it, not knowing if he has a gun. Then that innocent person is put in that position, to be in that car during that kind of pursuit. I think it's a good reality check for kids, especially teenagers --
COLMES: To see the death?
FUHRMAN: -- and maybe even the convicts out there that are thinking a little cocky, like they're going to run from the police.
COLMES: To see the death, to see the end of it, to see the guy get shot and killed, live?
FUHRMAN: Absolutely. Absolutely, Alan. We watch it every night. We watch it every night on TV and we make-believe. Let's do it for real.
FUHRMAN: In fact, this is news. And not only that, it is reality for the people that live in the community. I think it's a good rallying point for the citizens that do the right thing. I think it's a great rallying point for law enforcement that, like Sean says, law enforcement is confronted with this dozens of times every day in this country.
You second-guess them when they're not on video. Then you second-guess it when it is on video. And the second-guessing comes -- should we run it or not? Show the police and how they're doing things. Show them when it's a happy ending.