O.J. Simpson's lawyers said in court papers that they will contend Simpson was framed by Los Angeles Police Department detectives, including one with "despicable attitudes" toward African-Americans.
The claim, included in a 24-page defense motion filed Thursday that seeks access to confidential police files, run counter to statements made in court last week by lead defense attorney Robert L. Shapiro that race will not be made an issue in the murder case.While the motion seeks files for the four key homicide detectives on the case, it renewed a controversial claim that Detective Mark Fuhrman is a racist and suggests he planted a bloody glove at Simpson's estate after the bodies of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were discovered on June 13.
Fuhrman's attorney, Robert H. Tourtelot, said the motion "is a desperate act by desperate defense attorneys. As far as their allegations that Mr. Fuhrman is a racist, they are just outrageous and absurd. Mark Fuhrman is not a racist."
In the motion, defense co-counsel Carl Douglas states that a "central issue" in Simpson's defense will be the credibility of the first detectives to arrive at the crime scene and gather much of the early evidence.
"This (motion) has race written all over it," Tourtelot said.
But Shapiro told the Los Angeles Daily News in an interview Thursday that the defense does not intend to put race at issue.
"I will reiterate again that race is not an issue in this case - that credibility is," Shapiro said. "That will be the entire theory of anyone on the defense team."
Regarding Fuhrman's alleged attitude toward minorities, Shapiro said: "Right now we are investigating. We have filed a motion to get information that we will then evaluate. The ultimate decision of credibility lies with the trier of fact."
In July, Shapiro said he may claim Fuhrman planted the evidence but would not attribute his motives to racism. And in court last week he said race will not be made an issue by the defense.
Defense attorneys also submitted the declaration of Kathleen Bell, who claimed Fuhrman made race-related remarks to her in 1985 or 1986.