Skip to content

Detective in O.J. case allegedly assaults photographer

Post categories

  1. Newsgathering
Detective in O.J. case allegedly assaults photographer02/07/95 WASHINGTON -- Investigations are still underway into an assault of a photographer by…


WASHINGTON — Investigations are still underway into an assault of a photographer by Los Angeles Police Detective Mark Fuhrman, who allegedly slammed his metal briefcase into the chest of a Spokesman-Review photojournalist Jan. 25 in Spokane’s International Airport.

Fuhrman, who gained instant notoriety after being labeled a racist by O.J. Simpson’s defense attorneys, arrived at the Spokane airport after a house-hunting trip to northern Idaho.

During a 10-minute interview to Spokesman-Review reporter Bill Morlin, Fuhrman reportedly became angry when photographer Dan McComb began taking pictures as he walked down a terminal hallway. McComb said the detective hit him with his briefcase, yelling, “Get out of my face.”

McComb said he continued to take pictures while being hit, and pursued Fuhrman down a corridor. The photographer said he identified himself as soon as Fuhrman saw him, and explained he was merely trying to do his job.

When McComb would not stop his work, he said, Fuhrman charged at him, grabbed him by the shirt collar and threw him to the ground. Four buttons were ripped from McComb’s denim shirt.

Fuhrman was questioned by airport security but not arrested.

Chris Peck, managing editor of the Spokesman-Review, wrote a letter on January 26 to Los Angeles Police Chief Willie Williams and called for a thorough investigation into the matter, though no charges were filed by the paper in response to the attack.

Two LAPD internal affairs investigators have conducted separate interviews with McComb and Morlin. McComb said he has turned over copies of all frames he produced from the airport scene. He also said other witnesses of the attack have been interviewed by LAPD investigators.

The Reporters Committee regularly files friend-of-the-court briefs and its attorneys represent journalists and news organizations pro bono in court cases that involve First Amendment freedoms, the newsgathering rights of journalists and access to public information. Stay up-to-date on our work by signing up for our monthly newsletter and following us on Twitter or Instagram.